2022 began for the Suffield Rotary Club when, on January 2, 8, and 15 Rotarians, sometimes in single digit temperatures, assisted the SVAA distributing free COVID masks and test kits in the parking lots of Suffield High School and Middle School. The year drew to a much happier ending when, for four days over two December weekends, Suffield Rotarians “Rang the Bell” for the Suffield Community Aid (SCA) at various retail locations in town. The bellringers raised over $1,300 for those in our community needing assistance from the SCA.
The month’s festivities had begun on December 6, when members, spouses, and significant others joined together at a local restaurant simply to enjoy the camaraderie that is part of the club, partaking of good food and drink. A few days later, on December 10, the Rotarians returned to their service work when, for the seventh consecutive year, it ran what has become its now traditional “Sand and Salt” project. That program, through local organizations and advertising in The Suffield Observer, reaches out to find Suffield seniors who could benefit from salt and sand, provided courtesy of the town, and delivered free to their homes by Rotarians. The deliveries, before the first flakes fall, are geared to assist seniors in keeping their walkways and driveways safe through the icy winter months. This year over seventy deliveries were made, far more than the 56 deliveries last year, which were nearly twice the number made the prior year. The fact that the program continues to grow is evidenced that it fills a need, so look for sign-ups next fall.
The final December Rotary club meeting of 2022 was a busy one. The Rotarians were pleased to welcome Tara Wiggett as its newest member. It was also announced that Jon Kozloski, of Windsor Federal Bank, was to be club’s new President-Elect, and succeed Heidi Huhn Partain when her term ends in June. Brian Crozier would become Vice President and President-Elect at that time.
It was then announced that the funds donated to fix the chimney at Sunrise Park had been fully used, and that all the work had been successfully completed. This year, Sunrise Park was the site of a clean-up involving numerous town groups and individuals coordinated as part of Rotary’s 2022 Day of Service. It was announced that this year’s Day of Service will be on May 20. More information on that event will be coming in the next few months. The final announcement was that the club had been one of the few clubs who received a “Rotary Citation Award” for meeting 21 out of 22 stated goals for the year, which included service to the community and increasing membership during a pandemic!
The club then voted to approve a renewed donation to the Guatemalan Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Project, this time in Tonajuyu. As discussed in a November 2020 edition of this paper, the project brings running water and proper hygiene tools to a selected town, where previously numerous trips and many hours per day would be dedicated to carrying heavy containers filled with water up a mountain. These changes dramatically changed the quality of life for the town’s residents.
After the meal the club was able to meet and honor the November and December Students of the month, Joan Mascena and Arya Patel and wish everyone a Happy New Year.