Attend the District Assembly on April 28th from 8:00am -12:30pm at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center
The District Assembly team is providing an opportunity for all Rotarians in our District 7910 to meet with other Rotarians, exchange ideas, and learn about how your Rotary club can be the inspiration to your communities.
 
District Assembly - April 28 2018-04-17 04:00:00Z 0
Amber Bock, Westborough's Superintendent of Public Schools, joined us at our lunch meeting on March 7.  Ms. Bock, shown here with Club President Shelby Marshall, used the opportunity to inform our members about the proposed school budget for which the department was seeking approval at the March 17th Town Meeting.  The school department is seeking a 4.65% increase in its budget, for a total of just over $51.2 million.  Virtually all of this increase is driven by the expanding student population in the Westborough school system, which has increased by 140 students from last year's budget, with a total enrollment of 3,969 as of January 11.  Ms. Bock pointed that while the school system delivers an outstanding educational product, t the town's per-pupil cost of education is approximately $15.5K, which is $300 - $400 below the state average.  Additionally, the budget increase sought for this year is less than the state average of 8.6%, even though the system is experiencing higher growth rates than most other communities.  The School Department budget was overwhelmingly approved after a vigorous debate at Town Meeting.
School Superintendent Amber Bock Visits Our Club 2018-03-20 04:00:00Z 0
The Westborough Veterans Advisory Board (WVAB) is sponsoring a community drive to provide care packages to a battalion of infantry troops primarily from Massachusetts that are stationed in the Middle East.  The battalion consists of 189 males and 3 females.
 
The WVAB has established locations where residents of Westborough who wish to sponsor a care package may come and pick up boxes.  Each box will have instructions as to the items requested by this infantry battalion.  Residents should use the “shopping list” as a guide. When the boxes are filled they should be returned to a location listed below no later than February 23, 2018.
 
The locations for pick-up and drop-off are:
 
  • Westborough Veterans Advisory Board, Town Hall Lower Level
  • The First United Methodist Church, 120 West Main Street
  • Westborough Public Library
  • Westborough TV Station, West Main Street
  • Senior Citizens Center, 4 Rodgers Road
 
The First United Methodist Church (FUMC) of Westborough is assisting the Veterans Advisory Board with the logistics. Donations to offset the cost of postage to deliver the packages to our troops can be made with the check payable to Westborough FUMC, 120 West Main Street, Westborough, MA 01581.  Please make a note referencing the VAB Care Packages.
 
For further information, contact:
 
John Gallinagh, member
Westborough Veterans Advisory Board
508-769-7813
ionacg@verizon.net
 
Care Packages for Troops 2018-02-06 05:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Club of Westborough is excited to announce its participation in the ESSEX Short-Term Exchange Program. The club will sponsor Daniel Proudman from Hopkinton, MA. Daniel will travel overseas this summer for about three weeks. He will stay with a student and family and he will be welcomed by the local Rotary club. His actual destination is not yet known. His first choice is Taiwan where he plans to immerse himself in the culture and where he can practice his Mandarin. Daniel and his family will reciprocate and host the student for three weeks.  During this time the RCW will welcome the student and host a lunch/dinner in the student’s honor. Every year, about 8,000 young people from around the world participate in Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program. To learn more visit http://www.exchangestudent.org.
Westborough Rotary Sponsors ESSEX Exchange Student 2018-02-05 05:00:00Z 0
Westborough Rotarian Jin Huang opened the eBridge Montessori School in 2005.  At our meeting on January 31, Jin told us about the principles of a Montessori education, based on teaching methods developed by Dr. Maria Montessori more than 100 years ago. With a child-centered philosophy, a Montessori education focusses on practical, sensorial, language and math skills. The program uses specially designed objects and materials to provide concrete examples of real-world concepts. There are now more than 4,000 Montessori schools in the United States, and nearly 7,000 worldwide, with programs available for pre-school through high school and beyond.  eBridge Montessori in Westborough offers education for children from 15 months to 6 years of age. To learn more about a Montessori education, see Jon's entire presentation on our Facebook page or visit the school's website.
eBridge Montessori School Elliott Rittenberg 2018-02-05 05:00:00Z 0
Westborough Rotary is proud to sponsor the Rotary Spokes in the town's Recreational Basketball League this year.  Here we see some photos provided by Paul McGrath as the Ppokes come from behind to win 57 to 51 in a game on January 8.  Pictured at near right we see #15 Matt Crowley, a junior, driving for two, and at far right, Brendan Mcgrath concentrates before sinking a foul shot. To support the kids and take in a game, visit Westborough Recreation's website to see standings and schedule.
 
 
 
Rotary Spokes Rec Basketball 2018-01-23 05:00:00Z 0
Cultivate Care Farms in Bolton offers outpatient farm-based therapy through a model that challenges traditional mental health programs, Andrew Lapin, founder and executive director, explained to our membership during our meeting on January 17. Andrew's research showed that traditional therapy techniques lacked effectiveness and he sought to develop an affordable, innovative approach for individuals and families. By empowering the Care Farm system, the program rescues both humans and animals from despair, abandonment, and pain, and creates communities of mutual growth and healing. Founded in 2015, Cultivate Care is based on a centuries-old approach to therapy that began in Europe which matches people with animals to build a connection.  The facility uses the farm and animals to support behavioral counseling, serving between 20 and 40 outpatient clients each week. Therapists work alongside the clients as they perform chores and interact with the animals while their stories naturally unfold.
 
Andrew explains that "there’s a lot of power that comes from riding a horse and learning how to control a 1,200 pound animal when you’re just a 60 pound kid, or through the process of working with the sheep and seeing how skittish they might be, but over time they learn to trust.”  There are more than 50 animals on the farm, including horses, pigs, sheep, cows, chickens and bees. Each animal serves a different purpose in the therapy process for the Farm's clients.
 
In 2017, Cultivate Care Farms became a non-profit organization, furthering Andrew and his staff's vision of expanding Care Farming in America.  The program now accepts insurance and strives to be inclusive to all who may benefit from its services. It is one of the only facilities in the area that can accept and support LGBT individuals in crisis.  To learn more about Cultivate Care Farms, visit their website, and watch Andrews entire presentation on our Facebook page.
Cultivate Care Farms 2018-01-23 05:00:00Z 0
The Free Holiday Store was open from Monday, December 4th through Friday, December 22nd.  Julia Oneil-Welch from Youth and Family Services provided the following statistics for this year's efforts:
 
  • 117 families served
  • 254 children and teens received gifts
  • 3063 total number of gifts distributed
  • 2541 toys & gifts, other items
  • 389 books
  • 133 purses from the Purse Project
Also distributed were wrapping paper, bows, tape, gift cards, gift tags, holiday cards, gift bags, hats, mittens, shoes, string backpacks, clothing items, personal items and other miscellaneous donated items.
Free Holiday Store 2017 - Final Update 2018-01-23 05:00:00Z 0
Scott King has been a member of Westborough Rotary for about three and a half years.  Scott was raised in Connecticut and moved to Sherborn, MA when he was a senior in high school (he says it took some time to get used to "small town" living).  Scott has three adult children and now lives with his wife in Southboro.  He attended Babson College and has been in the mortgage business for three decades, currently working as a mortgage originator for Leader Bank.  He loves spending time by the ocean and particularly enjoys the Cape and Rhode Island.  Scott finds being near the water to be very therapeutic.  Married for 29 years, Scott is extremely close with his three kids and enjoyed being deeply involved in their activities when they were young.   Scott coached soccer, lacrosse, and basketball, and was a Boy Scout leader for 12 years.  Scott and his wife are getting a golden retriever puppy and we wish him good luck with that!  To get to know Scott, watch his talk on our Facebook page.
Member Spotlight: Scott King 2018-01-23 05:00:00Z 0
Born in Cleveland, Gary attended Case Western Reserve University where he received a degree in computer engineering.  He spent many years in the technology sector, and eventually came to the conclusion that high tech was a "young person's game".  Switching careers, Gary became a real estate developer, partnering with a couple of friends.  Over time, he and his partners amassed an impressive portfolio, and then the market crashed. This led to another reinvention, with Gary ultimately becoming a real estate agent.  Gary says his job as a realtor is to help his customers deal with a very stressful period in life.  To that end, Gary is never far from his bag of squeezable blue stress relief balls.  Gary lives in Marlborough, and has a son and daughter who also live in the area.  We congratulate Gary on the recent marriage of his daughter.  In the short time Gary has been with Westborough Rotary, he has made a significant impact, and today serves as membership chair, on our PI committee, and will fill the position of Vice President in the 2019 - 2020 Rotary year.  Get to know more about Gary by seeing his talk on our Facebook page.
Member Spotlight: Gary Kelley 2018-01-16 05:00:00Z 0
Mary Beth McGrath is passionate about language, and about helping people.  At our last Club meeting, Mary Beth told us how twenty years ago this month, she began working as a writing tutor at Quinsigamond Community College.  What she loved most about her job was interacting with people who came to the school from all over the world.  In the course of one day, she could work with students from China, Viet Nam, Poland, or Brazil, to name but a few.  As time passed, Mary Beth became an adjunct professor, and the student body continued to diversify, with people from Africa, South America and Eastern Europe enrolling at the college.  One of Mary Beth's students was a Lost Boy of Sudan who eventually went through the nursing program at QCC.  Her students shared one thing in common - they all wanted to improve their own lives, along with the lives of those they'd left behind. To help students improve their English language skills and become more fully integrated into the community, the school added conversation groups to its service offering, and Mary Beth naturally became involved.  These "conversation circles" became a comfortable, nonjudgmental safe place to practice English. Mary Beth's Students placed pins on a map to show where their origins, confirming that we are indeed a nation of immigrants.
 
Fast forward to the present.  Mary Beth has retired from Quinsigamond and misses meeting with her students.  About a year ago, she approached Westborough Library Director (and Rotarian) Maureen Ambrosino to see if she would be interested in implementing a conversation circle at the library. Maureen has been interested in establishing such a program, and the rest, as they say, is history.  The Library, with the help of Mary Beth and others as facilitators, now sponsors English conversation circles on a weekly basis.  Attendance varies at the weekly sessions, with as many as 18 students, and the hope is to grow the program to support a second weekly session.
 
At a recent class, participants spoke about their New Year's resolutions. Mary Beth told of one participant who had low confidence while job seeking due to her own poor perception of  her English language skills. Many students related that their children are embarrassed when their parents have difficulty with English in public.  These conversation circles allow participants from diverse backgrounds to comfortably practice and improve their skills.   In closing, Mary Beth related that everyone in the program expresses gratitude for new friendships, and all realize that they have more commonalities than differences.
 
To see Mary Beth's entire presentation recorded live at our meeting, visit our Facebook page.  For more information about conversations circles at the Westborough Public Library, contact Maureen Ambrosino, or click here for the calendar of events.
English Conversation Circles elliott rittenberg 2018-01-15 05:00:00Z 0
Cherylann Gengel from Be Like Brit visited on January 10, and along with our Giving Chair Betsy Moquin,  gave an update on Be Like Brit's efforts in Haiti.  Today, 33 boys and 33 girls live at Brit's home, symbolizing the 33 days that Cherylann's daughter Britney was missing after the the 2010 earthquake struck.  Britney, along with 300,000 others, died tragically during the earthquake.  Cherylann told us of the progress being made with infrastructure and water projects at the facility in Haiti, and that through the efforts of volunteers who visit, they built 35 homes for displaced families.
 
The Westborough Rotary Club sponsors a child at Be Like Brit. Darlandyna, pictured here at left, is a beautiful, friendly six year old girl who loves braiding her hair, dolls, dancing, and her best friend Valentina.  She also enjoys being tickled and reads quite well for her age.
 
Rotarian Brad Morse told us that his daughter will will be traveling to Haiti to volunteer at Be Like Brit this summer.  Betsy and Cherylann's entire presentation is available for viewing on our Facebook page.
Be Like Brit Update Elliott Rittenberg 2018-01-15 05:00:00Z 0
We were honored to have Joe Pucciarelli, pictured here at left with Giving Chair Betsy Moquin, join us at our meeting on January 3.  Joe has run the Westborough Community Thanksgiving Dinner for the past eight years.  Having just completed its 47th year,  this annual event which takes place at the Knights of Columbus Hall, serves a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, apple cider, pumpkin pie and assorted desserts.  This year set new record in participation for both guests and volunteers, with 115 meals served, an additional 47 meals delivered, and 85 people helping to make it all happen. Many of the volunteers enjoy the fellowship and festivity of giving when they may not have a local family to share it with otherwise.  A long list of sponsors helps to make the dinner possible.  To see Joe's entire presentation, which includes information about the changing demographics of the attendees, and how his team has learned to cook turkeys to maximize food safety, please visit our Facebook page.
About the Westborough Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner Elliott Rittenberg 2018-01-09 05:00:00Z 0

At our meeting of December 6, former District Governor Carl Kaliszewski, pictured here at left, discussed how our donations to the Rotary Foundation enable us to make a difference by Doing Good in the World.  Donations fund Global Grants, local and international projects through matching grants, and Rotary's signature program, Polio Plus. For the 2016 - 2017 Rotary year, the 100th year of the Rotary Foundation, Clubs in District 7910 contributed $205,000 to the Annual Fund and an additional $1.3 million for endowments and major gifts. As a Club, Westborough Rotary's per capita contribution exceeded $200 per member, resulting in a total contribution in excess of $13,000. For 2017-18, the District goal is to generate $300,000 for the Annual Fund, and a two year total of $2,000,000 for major gifts and endowment.   Fifty percent of all donations to Rotary's Annual Fund are returned to each District for use by Clubs to support projects here at home and abroad.  With matching grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Polio Plus, and from Rotary International for Global Grants, our contributions to the Rotary Foundation are multiplied up to three fold. Using Rotary Foundation grants, Rotary's 34,000 clubs across the globe develop and carry out sustainable humanitarian projects and provide scholarships and professional training opportunities that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sustain mothers and children, improve education, and strengthen local economies.
 
The leading charitable fund rating site Charity Navigator rates the Rotary Foundation four stars, the maximum possible, with scores of 100% for financial management, transparency and accountability.  Of funds raised, 91% go directly to charitable programs, making the Foundation one of the most efficient charitable organizations operating today.  Of the approximately $250 million disbursed this past year, $115MM went to support Polio eradication, bringing our total contribution to over one billion dollars. Additionally, approximately $100MM went toward District & Global Grants, and $34MM supported a range of additional causes, including the training of hundreds of peacemakers through the Rotary Peace Center program, which enables fellows to pursue a master's degree or professional certificate at one of Rotary's partner universities.
 
In his presentation, Carl acknowledges that we may never meet the people nor see the direct results of our contributions personally.  He does, however, relate a story from his Church upbringings that demonstrates how our donations really do provide tangible benefits.  For this, along with some of Carl's humorous anecdotes, see his entire presentation on our Facebook page.
Carl Kaliszewski Talks Foundation 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 0
Sponsors