Consistent with its tradition, on July 1st the Suffield Rotary began its new year and installed its new slate of officers, with Scott Seabury succeeding me as President. I know that Scott will be a great president. Other officers and board members installed include Paul Muska, Natalie Donais, Don Rawling, Jack Muska, Jon Kozloski, Gail Handley, Cheryl Armata and Jay Presser.
My presidency occurred during an unusual year, as the pandemic precluded our weekly dinner meetings and, at least temporarily, limited most of our planned fundraisers. For example, we had to postpone our wine tasting event, and the chicken barbeque traditionally held at Suffield on the Green. Nevertheless, in support of Suffield’s community needs this past year the Rotary has participated in the following events:
• Assisted with Kent Memorial Library re-opening preparations and Open House.
• Donated to and supported the Stuff-A-Cruiser Suffield Community Aid project to collect needed school items.
• Delivered numerous free chicken dinners to seniors.
• In support of the opioid crisis, Rotary handed out opioid disposal bags and worked with town emergency officials to fund, create and distribute a community support pamphlet.
• Worked with other Rotary clubs in our District to assemble 22,000 meals in support of a children’s backpack project which distributes meals to needy children for weekend consumption in our local area.
• Contributed to the newly constructed and opened playscape at Sunrise Park which is awaiting dedication when appropriate.
• Delivered buckets of sand and salt, without charge, to each senior family requesting one during the icy winter season.
• Staffed a “Bell Ringing” during a Holiday season weekend which raised over $7,000 for Suffield Community Aid’s use.
• Decorated and donated a Christmas tree to the 350th Anniversary Committee fundraiser.
• Packaged 10,000 masks for distribution at the local Masks for CT give-away.
• Donated $3,000 to six of Suffield eateries to provide first responders with free meals and drinks; benefitting both our restaurants and first responders alike.
• Awarded numerous scholarships to Suffield High’s Class of 2020.
Thanks to the Suffield Community for your support for the past 70 years. That support has allowed Suffield Rotary to strive towards their motto of “Service Above Self”.