Posted by Jim Catone on Dec 08, 2020
A November to Remember
The Tailgate Barbeque was the featured fundraiser this month meeting with good success, especially considering it was its initial run. Looks like it is worth repeating. The service project for December will be the World Santa Coat Wrap project. We welcomed two guest speakers which we found informative and interesting. Although COVID-19 is with us, Barre Rotarians continue their important work and practice putting Service Above Self.
Guest Speakers
John Thompson, Director of Development and Public Education at the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, joined us via Zoom. He began his talk by talking about the challenges presented during the COVID-19 pandemic including providing services and raising money. Protocols have been developed for continuing to provide services to clients and methods such as FaceTime and video conferencing have been utilized to supplement in person services. One example of a way to raise money for the Association was the creation of an online game. The Great Brave Little State Challenge, “ a blend of scavenger hunt, research, clue gathering and code cracking,” featured well known Vermonters making guest appearances. Admission was $15 and supported VABVI’s programs across Vermont. 
He had planned to show a video of Anne Connelly, but due to technical problems, he told her story instead. She, who herself was a blind, was a field worker for the blind who worked in Vermont in the 1920’s and 1930’s. She organized classes for the blind and the visually impaired in towns in Vermont. For a time she left Vermont for New York City and taught class in the surrounding area until her return to Vermont to head the Vermont Foundation of the Blind. She was the first person in the State to have a sight-seeing dog. She was given a white cane by a Lions Club in New Jersey which, through her efforts, saw it gain widespread use throughout Vermont. After a falling-out with State of Vermont officials, she operated a medicine shop, founded a women’s social club and set up a model school for the blind in Burlington City Hall. An interesting and informative presentation was well received by an appreciative Zoom audience.
Margo Austin, Flexible Pathway Coordinator, spoke to us about community service, a graduation requirement, at Spaulding High School. She views her major role as linking students with service opportunities. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a challenge to find safe activities which are following the recommended protocols. She noted that there is significant interaction with Key Club and Rotary’s Interact, two existing service clubs at SHS. Caroline suggested joining the “trash pickers” when they resume their activity in the spring and Nicole mentioned future beautification projects and would welcome Spaulding students. Karl said that he could use help from students in assembling granite bases for the sculptures to be mounted for the Barre Art Splash and Loren noted that there are always volunteer activities at the Aldrich.
Margo also talked about two programs which provide students with the opportunity to receive college credit and at the same time fulfill graduation requirements. Students usually enroll in courses at Vermont Community College and Norwich University. Almost sixty students are enrolled in the two programs. Barre Rotarians found a kindred spirit in Margo and enjoyed her talk. 
Tom and Karl attended a district grant training session and heard about some very interesting projects. Tom reported that $21,000 is available for local grants. Karl plans to apply for a marketing grant for the Barre Art Splash.   
President John, Ted and Tony reported on the Barbeque Tailgate event. Kudos were expressed  for the food prepared by renowned chef, Jimmy Kennedy. Over $900 was raised and with individual donations previously received, $3540 will be donated to the Aldrich. Caroline conducted a survey of those picking up meals to determine how they found out about the event. Facebook was the response most often given, followed by Front Porch Forum and newsprint media and then by word-of-mouth. As a reminder it was suggested that the chair of each fundraising event should conduct an After Action Report. Tony drew the winning raffle tickets and winners were notified by email. Thanks to prize donations from Maplewood, Nelson Ace Hardware and Farrell Distributing.
Barre Rotary made a donation of $500 to Green Mountain Way as a sponsor of the Holiday Gift Program and in conjunction with the Department for Children and Families. Nicole asked the four area Rotary clubs to donate the same amount which provided a book and toy for a total of 40 children.
Karl announced that the sculptures for the Barre Art Splash are now in the hands of the artists who will be working on them during the winter months and will culminate in a big splash on Main Street in the spring.
Caroline reported that the World Santa Coat Wrap has been organized following COVID-19 protocols. It took place on December 5th. Expect a full report next month.
Since Last We Met

Sarah White 
Nov. 15                                                                                                          
Club Anniversaries              
Caroline Earle  Nov. 26   6 years
Ted Goulette  Nov. 30th   26 years
November Days in History 
1922 King Tut’s tomb discovered
1842 Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd
2008 Barack Obama elected as America’s first Black President
1919 Congress enforces Prohibition
1962 Nikita Krushchev orders withdrawal of missiles from Cuba
Until next time, that’s all folks…...