Service Above Self
Rotary Club of Chester Vermont


Thursday, August 21, 2014
Club Web Site
Editor:   Jeff Ladd
If you have any comments or questions, email the editor.

Future Speakers
Aug 21 2014
Maria Contro, Treasurer, of Meals on Wheels
"Meals on Wheels "
Aug 28 2014
Laura Subin
"Marijuana Regulation in Vermont"
Sep 4 2014
Possibly Wendy Germaine
Oct 2 2014
Linda Tarr-Whelan,
" Linda is an expert on women's leadership."
Nov 6 2014
Rachel Cote
"Terrorism in China"

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Maria Contro speaks on Meals on Wheels. Emily, Leah and Alecia graced our breakfast
by Ladd, Jeff

Full of energy and long term comittment Maria Contro spoke today to Rotary on the local Springfield Meals on Wheels program. Serving an average of 150 home-bound people a day with meals, personal visits, and safety checks Meals on Wheels operates primarily on donations from those of us in the area. In Chester 30 elderly people are served daily with tasty meals. Beginning in England in the 30s, the Meals on Wheels program was introduced to the US in the 40s and has now grown to a nationwide service. In Vermont, Senior Solutions Council on Aging is the umbrella organization for Meals on Wheels. 

Emily Comstock and Leah Cunningham joined us again for maybe the last time before they head off to College and it was good to see them. Leah is still performing in Chorus line in Weston and will be through the week. Alecia Rokes joined us as well and it is rumored will be acting president of Interact this year, Congratulations Alecia!! We look forward to working with you. 

District Governor Rotary 7870 Speaks in Chester
by Ladd, Jeff


Chester Rotary President Brian Morris shakes District Governor Richard Berryman's hand. Rich joined Chester Rotary Thursday to speak about building awareness of Rotary, and its mission to provide "Service above Self"  in the world and local communities.   Many are unaware that the Rotary organization spearheaded the US effort to eradicate polio worldwide for the past 35 years.  From the website "Rotary, along with , has reduced polio cases by 99 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979." Its partners include the Centers for Disease Control and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Locally, Chester Rotary serves by raising monies and providing scholarships and grants each year to many in the immediate area. We work to have fun while raising money during the Andy and Heidi Ladd Scholarship, The Rotary Golf Tournament, while administering the Chester Fall Festival and Selling food at the spring wildlife festival. We also provide 1st graders with personalized books, provide presents to the Kurn Hattin students and ...make an appointment with  the Easter Bunny to appear in Chester  for some great egg hunts as winter breaks. 

All are welcome to join us at the Fullerton Inn at 5:30 for the first Thursday of the month speaker and social. Upcoming speakers will be listed on this site and on the Chester Telegraph. Join us in our efforts too, we can always use volunteer help!

Paul Bremmer, US Diplomat, Statesman and Historian Speaks to Rotary
by Ladd, Jeff

Chester Rotary Club was honored on Thursday when part time resident and Diplomat Paul (Jerry) Bremer visited and spoke on US policy and the Ukraine. Outlining his views on current US policy and strategy, Bremer spurred a healthy and stimulating debate while answering questions on international corruption, nation states and the future role of the US in maintaining its "hedgemony" (leadership and domination) into the future. We are very grateful to have hosted him. Thank you Jerry for sharing your knowledge and time with us again. 


Chester Rotary Year End and Beginning
by Ladd, Jeff


Past President Ron Theissen presented the Presidential Gavel to incoming Brian Morris and the Chester membership offers its congratulations, best wishes, and thanks to both for the year past and the one to come. In addition to that, District Governor David Hoops blessed us with his presence in his last meeting as District Governor and graciously presented Ron with a medal for the Paul Harris award for giving to Rotary International and we honored all of the members who have received the Paul Harris award.  David also spoke on the nature of the Rotary foundation and what is working for the little club and what appears not to work at the moment.



Pablo Xavier Vasquez gives great presentation on Ecuador!
by Ladd, Jeff

Chester Rotary was blessed this Thursday with a presentation by Pablo on Ecuador and the life he leads there. He presented Ecuador as a lovely place of fabulous cuisine, exceptional biodiversity and having a  healthy economy that boasts very low unemployment numbers for the region. Ecuador's biodiversity stems from the four major ecological regions it contains; Pacific coastal, Sierra mountains, Amazonia and of course the famed Gallapigos Islands. 

Thanks Pablo for spending your year with us. It has been a pleasure to know you and we hope we can keep in touch and you find reason to come back and visit in your future.

Members of the Chester Rotary

My apologies to all that the pictures I took of the presentation did not come out. Doh!

Tory Spater of the Chester Beautification Committee on the flowering of Chester
by Ladd, Jeff

Flowers are coming to Chester this year through the efforts of Tory Spator and other members of the Chester Beautification Committee. Plans now include placing at least 20 planters with flowers in several different locations. You can buy a planter through the committee and they are accepting needed contributions to extend their efforts into the fall and winter with more wonderful ideas. Contact Tory at 802 875 2952

Rich Stocker Honored for 37 years Rotary Service above self.
by Ladd, Jeff

Rich Stocker was honored with Gifts and a very Gentle Roasting today in recognition of his 37 yrs service in Chester with the Rotary. His wife Diane and he are also receiving complimentary tickets to the 3 day Rotary district conference being held at Stowe Mountain Resort this year. Thank you Rich for all your fine work in all the many things you do and have done for the community and Rotary in the community!



Thursday Night 5:30 pm Fullerton, Billy Schaefer, Mt Biking Business for Chester
by Ladd, Jeff

Thursday night come join the Rotary Social and find out what Rotary is doing to help the community in Chester and surrounds. This week we are pleased to have Chester resident, skier and biker Billy Schaefer speaking on Mountain Biking and his hopes for developing a Biking Center here in Chester that would welcome both locals and visitors to the area in the warmer months. We should be in for an interesting and engaging presentation and evening. 

Come and join us from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Fullerton Lounge for some food for thought and good company and refreshments.

Estaban Castano Gave moving presentation on Youth Exchange
by Ladd, Jeff

The meeting today highlighted Estaban Castano and his moving and inspiring presentation on Rotary's New Generations Programs.  

He spoke eloquently about his exchange year in North West Thailand that molded and inspired his life in many ways he had not foreseen and the ever expanding effects it has had on everything he currently does from Roteract to College to his conceiving and starting a business in his senior year at Dartmouth. Some of his takeaways; A year living in another culture allows one to understand that culture deeply, to adopt a different way of thinking, to acquire a different pallet or framework through which to view the world.  Conclusions; People are the same everywhere, We have a duty to help each other out, we have a duty to do everything in our power to resolve differences and avoid war. 

In summarizing he said the Rotary Programs; the exchange program, Interact, and Roteract,  serve to open doors to opportunity, they build character, and they build future Rotarians. They work "instilling values to build engines of service" that will pass on the vision for the generations that follow. 

Good stuff, not to mention he had some lively, upbeat and enlightening videos of his time in Thailand. 

Esteban Castaño is a senior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, where he is double-majoring in Economics and International Relations. He believes in a life of “Service above Self” and hopes to serve others through a career in social enterprise and international development. 

Esteban’s relationship with Rotary began at the age of seventeen, when a Rotarian named Alan Wylie encouraged Esteban to apply for the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Esteban did and was soon on his way to northern Thailand where he spent twelve months living with Thai host families and being immersed in the local culture. He produced a video of his experience, which he later used to recruit new youth exchange students from around his home in Houston, Texas. 

In 2010 and 2011, Esteban was the lead Rotary Exchange trainer at the Houston Rotary Youth Exchange Training Program. In 2012, Esteban helped revive the Dartmouth Rotaract Club and was invited to speak on New Generations Service at the 2012 Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand. At 2012 Rotaract Pre-Convention Meeting in Bangkok, Esteban helped initiate a crowd-sourced website that would document best-practices among Rotaract clubs and preserve institutional memory. RotaractorWiki, as the website became known, is now used by hundreds of Rotaract clubs from around the world and has over 370 pages of content. In 2013, Esteban was awarded a scholarship to attend ARYLA (Advanced Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), an intensive four-day leadership conference for young professionals. That experience solidified his interest in harnessing business models and market mechanisms to sustainably address social inequalities. Rotarians, by consistently displaying “Service above Self”, continually inspire Esteban to better his community. 

Esteban is the founder of Dartmouth Roots, an undergraduate leadership organization that seeks to continually improve Dartmouth. As Vice-President of the Ledyard Canoe Club, Esteban teaches whitewater kayaking and participates in local river clean-ups with the Hanover Rotary Club. He believes that education has the power to transform communities and recently founded a company that is working to make academic discourse free and accessible to anyone, anywhere. 

Williams Stearns and TD Bank Visit Chester Rotary
by Ladd, Jeff


President Ron Thiesson receives a check for $2455.82 from Marsha Dawkins Assistant VP and Store Manager at Chester TD Bank.

TD Bank's Rotary Affiliate program comes through with a huge donation! Each person who has a TD Bank account and chooses to "affiliate" it with Rotary adds to a group affiliation, the average balance of that group affiliation then results in a contribution from the bank to the local Rotary! Wow, sounds like it could be very productive. Thank you very much TD Bank for $2455.82

This last Thursday William Stearns of Newsbank spoke on the new Civil War and Slavery Archival Products at Newsbank this year. Both sounded fascinating for historians and those interested in researching all the varied topics within each subject. Archives are expansive and cover the impacts of both over many years. So, for example, the Civil War Archive covers from 1860 through to 1920 at this point. 

New Evening Meeting
by Holme, John

Once a a month, the Rotary Club will have an evening meeting on the first Thursday of the month at 5:30 in the pub at the Fullerton Inn.  This meeting is open to all and will be an opportunity to socialize with other active members of the community.  There is no fee for this meeting as no meal will be served.  The focus will be on fellowship and the exchange of ideas.  Join us!


Bound for Glory
by Cannon, Lynne

Malcolm Summers gave us an energetic presentation on book binding and we all learned what to do if stricken with worms.  Thank you Malcolm for this fun discussion.  

New membership rules
by Cannon, Lynne

Reminder:  We will be meeting tomorrow morning at the Fullerton Inn.  Steve Sharma will provide a motivational session on how to deal with difficult people.  We will also briefly discuss the hurricane relief efforts and the new meeting format (see below)

The Membership committee and Board met after last weeks regular meeting to discuss the proposed improvements to our accessibility.  Here is what we believe will enhance our group efforts and still maintain our current fellowship.   We will be discussing it tomorrow morning. 

"Based on the  relaxation of RI attendance rules, we are proposing adding a once a month  after hours meeting on the first Thursday of every month starting Feb 6th in  the pub at the Fullerton Inn.  It will be a normal meeting with all the  bells and whistles.  Well at least the bell.  It will be from 5 to 6  pm.   The format will be similar to the morning meeting and will  have approximately 30 minutes of socialization in lieu of breakfast and 30  minutes for a speaker.  We will have name tags and a greeter.  There  will be a cash bar available and munchie type bar snacks such as nuts, or  cheese and crackers.

We would like to have speakers that will be of  interest to a broader audience in order to engage a younger crowd.  It  was suggested that we see if Steve Sherma is available   (Jeff, has since confirmed that Steve will not be able to make a February after hours meeting).

We will advertise this new format in the Message, the Journal,  the telegraph, SAPA-TV, the Beating Drum and on our website.  We will  encourage all Rotarians to come and bring a friend or two.

Interact may attend and we'd like to have them as speakers for one meeting.

There  will be no change to the morning meetings."


new member!
by Cannon, Lynne

President Ron Theiessen beams as he inducts our newest member Wil Wilcox. 

Wil is the Assistant Librarian at the Whiting Library and a resident of Chester.  We are very pleased to have him join our ranks.

by Cannon, Lynne

Please forward your event dates to Lynne as soon as possible so they can be added to the website.