Westborough Rotary E-Bulletin

January 16, 2018

Check our Website and Facebook Page for Updates on Tomorrow's Meeting

Our meeting tomorrow is a dinner meeting at the Chateau with the bell ringing at 6:15pm.  Our scheduled speaker is Andrew Lapin from Cultivate Farms in Bolton. Andrew will talk to us about their Farm Based Therapy outpatient program.  With the forecast of impending snow for tomorrow, check our Facebook page and website as we will post announcements by 3:00pm tomorrow if we must cancel our meeting.

Be Like Brit Update

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.

English Conversation Circles

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.
Upcoming Meetings
Jan 24, 2018 12:15 PM
Board of Directors Report; RYLA
Jan 31, 2018 12:15 PM
An education on Montessori
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Worcester Railers Hockey
DCU Center
Jan 26, 2018 7:00 PM
Rotary Means Business
The Fay Club
Feb 08, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
2018 Rotary Mount Washington Summit
Mount Washington Hotel
May 04, 2018 – May 06, 2018
Fitchburg State University
Jun 22, 2018 – Jun 24, 2018
Rotary International Convention
Jun 23, 2018 – Jun 27, 2018
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Member Spotlight: Gary Kelley

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.

Worcester Railers Hockey 

Join us on Friday, January 26 as we cheer on the Worcester Railers as they take on the Quad City Mallards at what's come to be known as the Chris Bakutis' Birthday Party.  The game will be played at the DCU Center in Worcester, and the puck drops at 7:05pm.  Tickets are $20, including a hat.  Contact Paul McGrath to make your reservation. Payment is due not later than January 17.


Boroughs & Bury Rotary Social

Join Us for Lunch or Dinner!
Wednesdays at 12:15pm, 3rd Wednesday at 6:15pm
Chateau Restaurant
95 Turnpike Road
Rt 9 & Rt 30
Westborough, MA  01581
United States
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