August was an exciting and busy month. The first Thursday of the month Andy Russell, NLRC Foundation Chair, presented two Paul Harris Service Awards to Pete Connair in honor of his children.
As part of our Club sharing/Club Assembly, we had an inspiring presentation by former DG Pam Akins on the Rotary International conference in Brazil this year. Pam’s slides and vivid descriptions painted a picture of the space shared and the messages delivered by so many Rotarians from all over the world.
The second Thursday in August we celebrated Camp Rotary and the activities of over 160 Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School students from New London. Camp Rotary, inaugurated several years ago with just 30 students, is one of our most important community service projects, which we help to support every year with fundraisers. In conversation with Camp Rotary participants, we found out that their favorite activities were marine exploration (beach fun!) at Block Island, math Bingo, kayaking, sailing, and visiting Connecticut College, the Coast Guard Academy, and Mitchell College. The older students also participated in a new and exciting camping trip this year. At the same meeting we inducted two new members into the New London Rotary Club, Annah Perch and Rear Admiral James Rendón, and the students helped in welcoming them enthusiastically to the Rotary family. After introducing Annah Perch as one of our newest members, Helen Sandalls was herself recognized for her service to the Club with a Paul Harris award.
Other community service projects conducted that week were Amber Alert, attended by DG Gerry Tom, VP Tom Hogsten, and Vanessa Kienoski, and the Coogan Farm “Sweat Equity” work day with area Rotary clubs, past-President Bill, Pres. Julia, and our favorite Chikumbuso ladies, Linda and Sabrina (kneeling in front), who introduced us to the joys of International Service in Zambia.
The third week of August we welcomed our Rotary Exchange Student, Francisco (Pancho) Concha, from Santiago, Chile. Pancho met his new brother and sister, John and Francisca Secor at their home. The same week Pancho met the membership of the New London Rotary Club at their Annual Picnic at Captain Scott’s, and all who attended the social event had a great time.
The last Thursday of the month, we had a presentation by one of our favorite local celebrities, Mr. Toshi Shimada, Conductor of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra at the Garde Theater. Toshi talked about upcoming programs and introduced ECSO’s new Director, Caleb Bailey.
President Julia presented the final Paul Harris Award of the month at the same meeting to Rev. Michel Belt, past-president, Soup Kitchen Chair, and longtime faithful New London Rotary Club member, who has retired and will be moving away. We will miss you very much, Michel!
Yours in fellowship -
Rotary Club of New London
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P.S. Check out our month in photos!