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President Glen Davis
President Elect Rich Forte
Immediate Past President Charles Nelson
Vice President Jim Brown
Secretary Bob Cocks
Treasurer Ryan Damaso
Sgt at Arms Greg Cronin
Membership Marty Lindemann
Bulletin Jim Brown

The Rotary Club of Needham - Welcome

Welcome to Needham! We are a great group of 40 members strong and growing. Men and Women, young and old – we meet for lunch every Tuesday. Our projects focus on giving back to both our community here and beyond.

Tuesdays, 12:00-1:30pm
Needham Sheraton: 100 Cabot Street

With interesting speakers and an energized group
every week, you will come away inspired.


Posted by Jim Brown on Sep 09, 2014

Rotary Club of Needham
Tuesday:  September 9, 2014
Location:  Needham Sheraton


Our guest speaker this week was Bob Steele from Ledyard, Connecticut.  Bob is Chairman of Connecticut-based NLC Insurance Company and has been a director of numerous other companies, including the American Stock Exchange.  A graduate of Amherst College and Columbia University, he served in the CIA and Congress, and was a nominee for Governor of Connecticut.

Certainly a well-informed and accomplished person, Bob has been very disappointed how casinos have worked out in Connecticut.  Despite their great promise of "economic improvement" and an abundance of good jobs, Bob found just the opposite in his state.  He found that the jobs which were created were primarily low paying jobs, and instead of economic development, he found moral destruction.  Connecticut has since been labeled the "Embezzlement Capital of the United States" with the Ledyard Tax Collector being indicted for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay her gambling debts.  Studies have found that almost half of his state's gamblers are ‘addicted’ to gambling.  Increases in the number of people addicted to gambling is hardly a good thing.

What started as the 1988 Indian Gaming Act in Congress has resulted in 1,000 casinos in the U.S., in 39 states, with Massachusetts and Kentucky scheduled to be next.  Half of the casinos are Indian-owned; the other half are commercial ventures.

Bob got so concerned about the deterioration of his region from the byproducts of big-time gambling that he wrote a novel entitled The Curse: Big-Time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town. He believed that telling the story of gambling's many ills was better shown as a good story rather than a dry documentary or non-fiction work.  Bob gave a clear and very compelling presentation and sold a number of copies of his book at our lunch meeting.


With "Referendum Question 3" on Massachusetts ballots on November 4, 2014, the time may be right to vote against this concept for Massachusetts.  What do you think?

You can see more of Bob Steele on youtube at:           


Meeting Minutes:

Pledge of Allegiance:  President Glen Davis
Song:  God Bless America; Sung on key by Bob Cocks
Prayer: Thoughtfully led by Darrell Minnich

Susana Brown of Boston Rotary (and Jim’s brilliant and beautiful wife); Plus our guest speaker, Bob Steele


  • Louise reminded us of the VNA 20th anniversary of the Stanley Tippett Hospice House.  She also displayed the beautiful necklace donated by Susan Warnick for the silent auction.  The event will be held at the Needham Golf Club on Sept. 26th at 5:30, with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.  Entertainment will be provided by the Longwood Opera.  Wow!  That sounds like a really high class evening!
  • The 422 dictionaries for Needham’s 3rd graders have arrived. At 11 am on Tuesday the 16th, there will be a "labeling bonanza" at our Rotary meeting.  All of the dictionaries get special labels for each child, and get separated into boxes for each class in each school.  Come early, it is terrific fun!.  Here's a picture from the joy of last year's dictionary delivery:
  • Image
  • After 3 years of effort, Needham Rotarian Bill Paulson and the town committee have succeeded in getting a dog park built. The "Grand Dropping" was this past Friday 12th.

Happy Dollars: Ken and others for great weather!  Chuck for having lunch with such excellent company as us (watch out; he may want to borrow money next week!)  Lois and others for being able to vote in the Commonwealth’s Primary election on this day!  Bill Paulson for the opening of the Dog Park, and for his good meeting with the folks at the Newman School who offered to loan us games for the Pancake Breakfast!  Ron Sockol just glad to be here!  Doug George for being able to present the Eagle Scout Award from Needham Rotary this week to Needham’s most recent Eagle Scout, Brenden Albertson of St. Sebastian’s school!  Andy for his youngest daughter going off to pre-school today!  Bob Cocks for two weeks in Hilton Head!  Roz for vacation!  Roberta for HTBH!!

Lois’s Presidential Minute Quiz: This President was the 27th President of our country; he was the only President born in September; he served only one term; he was the only President to then become the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; President William Howard Taft, President from 1909 to 1913.  (He was also the only President whose weight once collapsed the speaker's platform)!   

50/50 drawing:  The great Needham card scandal was finally overcome by the purchase of a card deck that actually had the queen of hearts included!  Thanks to Greg for restoring the integrity of the weekly drawing and demonstrating the first of the four Rotary tests;  "Is it the truth?"  Unfortunately, Marty had lucky number 441, but he drew the Jack of Spades. 

5 minute Rotarian: no one today

Paraprosdokians (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous:

 1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you ... but it's still on my  list.

 3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

 4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.  

  5. We never really grow up -- we only learn how to act in public.

  6. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

 7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

 8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism.  To steal from many is research.

 9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

 10. In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency notify ... " I answered "a doctor."

Birthday: No one today



Posted by Bill Paulson on Sep 03, 2014



Well, it's that time again. The leaves are changing, the soccer fields are full. Must be time for the Annual Needham Rotary Pancake Breakfast!

This year's pancake breakfast will be on Saturday, November 1 from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Needham High School.

Buy your tickets today at:

We are lining up lots of entertainment throughout the morning. Buy your tickets now to get updates on specific events like kids games and a sample Shelterbox

USA tent (


Please support Rotary's worthy causes by purchasing tickets.  

100% of donations go to program activities and there are no administrative or overhead fees!


  • Flowers for the Elderly: Each spring we bring potted flowers to all the folks at Needham's nursing homes


  • Rotary Youth Exchange: We sponsor Needham High School students to travel abroad for their junior year and bring students from other countries to Needham to foster international peace and understanding


  • ShelterBox: Needham Rotary sponsors ShelterBox containers which are used to provide disaster relief around the world including a tent, pots/pans, utensils, water purification materials, etc.


  • Memorial Garden: Each July 4th we load up the Needham Rotary parade float with flowers and then plant them at the Memorial Garden across from Sudbury Farms


  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards: We send Needham High sophomores to a weekend of leadership training with other outstanding students from around the state


  • Polio Plus: Rotary International has spent almost a billion dollars on immunization efforts worldwide and has pushed this disease to the brink of extinction

We use the funds raised through our Pancake Breakfast to offer these activities and so much more.

Tax free additional donations are always very much appreciated.


Posted by Jim Brown on Jul 08, 2014

It was quite a pleasure to have Micky Welling (wife of recently deceased Past President 'Mr. Rotary' Bob Welling) come and join us for our Annual Cookout started back when Bob was President. Micky brought with her her son John Stone, and her grandson Blake. Once again 'It never rains on a Needham Rotary Cookout' as Bob used to say.
Pictured are all the participants at the cookout, but not the food. Dan Tibma was the Thief Chef, with everyone pitching in. A fun and filling time was had by everyone, and we look forward to doing it next year!
Posted by Bill Paulson

Now available for your review, by Walter G. Patterson.  You can download the 90 page booklet online here on the Needham Rotary Club web site by clicking the link above or by going to the Club History page and clicking on the link on the left.

Posted by Kathy Whitney on Jun 10, 2014

Posted by Rich Forte on Jun 09, 2014

Meeting Notes for June 3, 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel in Needham

Pledge of Allegiance: Glen

Song: "America" Led by Bob

Invocation: Darrell

Glen welcomed everyone to celebrate the two 2014 Needham High School senior scholarship recipients.


Ted informed the group of three children being treated in Boston through the Gift of Life New England:

  • Edwin, age 3 weeks from Panama, traveled with his mom and doctor and is in surgery as we met
  • Daniela, age 16 years, also from Panama
  • Valeria,  age 2 years from Ecuador

Gift of Life New England works with some of the leading Hospitals in the Boston area to treat children from developing countries who would not be able to receive the life-saving treatment in their home country.  The care is free and housing is provided to the family from area Rotarians.

Awesome program!  Thanks for the update, Ted!  It makes us proud to be Rotarians!


Happy Dollars:

The Happy dollars collected today were in memory of Rotarian Bob Welling and will go to the Scholarship Fund.  Total contributed today totaled $655!!!  Thanks to our members for their generosity!

Many dedications were on behalf of the High School Scholarship winners; George gave thanks for his many years as scholarship trustee (proud of the current and past recipients and fellow Rotarians!).

Ryan had the lucky number for a chance to draw the queen of hearts to split the $308 pot.  Too bad, pot will grow next week!

Scholarship Winners:

Glen invited Lois Sockol to introduce our scholarship recipients.  Lois thanked fellow committee members Dan Tibma and Rick Davis.  There were 53 Needham High School seniors who applied.  Of the 53, it was narrowed to 36 and then to 6 to be interviewed and finally to the two selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship.  The criteria for selection is based on three elements; academics, involvement in the school and community, and financial need.  These scholarships are among the largest given each year at Needham High School. 


This year’s recipients are Ms. Sara Castiglia and Mr. Aiden O’Connor.  Sara was a member of the track team, debate and speech team, student council member and played flute in the band.  Sara will be attending Georgetown in the fall and plans to study government.  Aiden also was a member of the band and played rugby and was a wide receiver on the football team.  Aiden plans to study finance at Providence College.


Mr. Tom Savino, trustee of the Needham Rotary Scholarship Fund reminded those present of the inception of the Scholarship Fund.  It was originally funded through the tips (pennies and nickels) left by the members as thanks to the other members who served the meal on the day.  The Fund was created in 1952 and has been funded through contributions from Needham Rotarians.  Mr. Savino invited both recipients up to receive the first of their four scholarship checks (four annual checks of $2,500 each).  All members stood and offered very warm applause to the winners!


Our scholarship recipients were joined by their parents who looked on with admiration as their children were praised for their achievenments in school and the community!


Posted by Douglas George on Jun 02, 2014

Bulletin of the Meeting on May 27, 2014

by Doug George


Louise Condon helped welcome our speaker for the week, Bill Wilmot, Head of the Tremont School in Weston.  He's guiding the development of this new private school that's now in its second year.  The school began with middle school and eventually will be expanding into a high school.  Presently there are 32 students with about 8 full time staff.  The tuition is $22,000 annually.  The focus is to give the students a hands-on education program built around projects that integrate "disciplines" and that are more individualized than the public schools offer.   The school builds curriculum around Albert Einstein's saying, "Learning is experience.  Everything else is just information." 

Our Meeting Notes:

Rich Forte ably substituted for our absent President Glen and let the Pledge, Ron Sokol gustily led the singing of "God Bless America" and Lois Sokol prayed.  She then led the "Vice Presidential Minute" (did we run out of presidents already?), with the guest VP being Humbert Humphrey.  It was a mostly Lois day, as she won the 50-50 draw but failed to get the queen of hearts, leaving at least $282 on the table for next week.

Happy Bucks Mentioned:  Guests, Great Memorial Day Program, nice weekends away, the Reality Fair, Great Article on Paul Burke and David Borelli, In Memory of Bob Welling and Evelyn Derenzo, Hope for a 15 day old boy from Panama coming to BCH for open heart surgery and for time with families.

The guest of the day was Doug Spink, a former Rotary Club Scholarship winner from 2011 at Needham High School.


Doug has just finished his third year at the University of Indiana where he is majoring in business and accounting.  Putting his education to work, he recently aided in a major university fund raising effort that secured more than $2 million.   We can hardly wait for him to become a Rotarian somewhere and put all that skill to work for service to others!


Our meeting will present the 2014 Needham Rotary Scholarship winners at our luncheon meeting.   Please make sure you attend and bring your checkbook, not your $1 bills.   Why?  Because the happy bucks for the week are going into our scholarship kitty.   Give often, give generously!  We are in the business of producing more Doug Spink's!

Finally, some jokes (laughter optional):

Humor by Doug:

Two ninety year old men, Moe and Sam, have been friends all their lives.

It seems that Sam is dying of cancer, and Moe comes to visit him daily.

"Sam," says Moe, "You know how we have both loved baseball all our lives, and how we played minor league ball together for so many years. Sam, you have to do me a favor. When you get to Heaven, and I know you will go to Heaven, somehow you've got to let me know if there's baseball in Heaven."

Sam looks up at Moe from his death bed, and says, "Moe, you've been my best friend for years........of course, I'll tell you."

And shortly after, Sam passes on.

It is midnight a couple of nights later. Moe is sound asleep when he is awakened by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calls out to him, "Moe.... Moe...."

"Who is it?" says Moe sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"

"Moe, it's me, Sam."

"Come on. You're not Sam. Sam just died."

"I'm telling you," "It's me, Sam!"

"Sam? Is that you? Where are you?"

"I'm in heaven," says Sam, "and I've got to tell you, I've got good news and a little bad news."

"So, tell me the good news first," says Moe.

"The good news," says Sam "is that there is baseball in heaven. Better yet, all our old buddies who've gone before us are there. Better yet, we're all young men again. Better yet, it's always spring time and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play baseball all we want, and we never get tired!"

"Really?" says Moe, "That's great, but what's the bad news?"

"Ahhh -- Sam, you're pitching next Tuesday."

Humor by Doug, 2nd chance:

A man was stranded on a desert island for 10 years.

One day a beautiful girl swims to shore in a wetsuit....

Man: "Hi! Am I ever happy to see you."

Girl: "Hi! It seems like you've been here a long time. How long has it been since you've had a cigarette?"

Man: "It's been ten years!"

With this information the girl unzips a slot on the arm of her wet suit and gives the man cigarette.

Man: "Oh thank you so much!"

Girl: "So tell me how long its been since you had a drink?"

Man: "It's been ten years"

The girl unzips a little longer zipper on her wet suit and comes out with a flask of whiskey and gives the man a drink.

Man: "Oh... thank you so much. You are like a miracle!"

Girl: [Starting to unzip the front of her wet suit.] "So tell me then, how long has it been since you played around?"

Man: "Oh, my God, don't tell me you've got a set of golf clubs in there too?!"

Humor from Jim:

At breakfast, the wife says to her husband, “What would you do if I won the Lotto?”

“I’d take half and leave you,” he says.

“Great” she says. “Here's $6. I won $12 yesterday! Stay in touch.”

Posted by Jim Brown on May 20, 2014

Posted on May 19, 2014

Newsletter for Meeting on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at the Needham Sheraton Hotel

ImageImageWayne Braverman, Managing Editor, Gatehouse Media, presented our program on "ethics and the print media."  Located in Needham, Wayne oversees the staffs of 16 weekly newspapers and their "Wicked" (local town) websites.  In public life for more than 35 years, Wayne's been a journalist, life coach, toastmaster, event planner, actor (Ebeneezer Scrooge to Jesus Christ:  now that's a wide range!), writer, photographer, and Congregational pastor.

He skillfully presented Needham Rotarians with two case studies and invited us to "be the editor" and make decisions on what story details should be printed and what should be ignored.  Would you tell the public just before the big Thanksgiving day game that the star player wouldn't be playing because he had flunked shop because he didn't go to class?  Would you tell the public that in a polarized dispute between playground advocates versus dog park supporters, the head of the dog park group was making unsupported allegations that one of the playground group's supoorters had been charged as a youth as a class 3 sex offender?

One of the great things about being in Rotary is that weekly meetings and speakers give one a chance to turn one's brain on to things you don't usually think about!  Sometimes "all the news that's fit to print" has to be weighed against "what's the 'right' thing for a moral person to do?

Weekly Club News

Ex-President Charles ably substituted for President Glen, Darrell prayed inspirationally, we sang beautifully, and (most) tunefully honored Ted's birthday. 

Lois changed it up.   No "Presidental Minute" and she tried to stump us with a mystery sports figure.  But, we got it easily!  It was none other than Joe Lewis, whose most memorable moment was his 1938 rematch defeat of German Max Schmeling, a hero of the Nazi party and Adolph Hitler.  This symbolic defeat of racist Nazism on the eve of WWII took place in front of 70,000 people in Yankee Stadium and a world-wide radio audience of millions.   Did you know that Max and Joe later became friends and Max was a pallbearer at Joe's 1981 Arlington National Cemetery burial, after which he helped pay for Joe's funeral expenses?  

Happy Bucks time revealed that Scott liked his weekend taking care of his grandson when his son took his daughter-in-law to Italy for a quick trip.  Lois honored her grandson who is President of Westboro Interact Club; Ted had a great trip with Marilyn to the China (and the great wall); Rich's daughter returned home after a successful year at college; Bill got to see Katie over the weekend; Marty reported on being at his 50th H.S. reunion (who are all these old people?) and his father's 101st birthday celebration; and member-to-be Steve Schauer led cheers for the Bruins (condolences Steve).

Needham Rotary Biography

Karen Wetmore treated us to some insights into her life.   She was born in Needham, graduated from Needham H.S., trained as an executive secretary at Baypath J.C., and went on to get her BA (accounting) and MBA from Babson.  She worked for a decade for an engineering company that made safe underground lighting for coal mines (no explosions please!).  Karen switched to non-profit accounting at Reverend Ike's Organization, then founded her own accounting firm, Falcon Accounting, where she has worked for 25 years.  She sees her future focus and passion being on helping seniors and their caregivers.

She got her public service outlook from her father who was a Needham Rotarian.  She loves quilting, traveling and horses.


Doug offered the following:
Barbara Walters had done a story on gender roles in Kuwait several years before the Gulf War and she noted that Kuwaiti women customarily walked about 10 feet behind their husbands.  When she returned after the war, she observed that the men now walked 10 feet behind the women.
She approached one of the women for an explanation.  "This is great progress," Barbara said.  "What enabled women here to achieve this wonderful reversal of roles?"
The woman replied, "Land mines!"
Needham Rotarians in Action This Past Week
Congratulations to Rich Forte for leading our club's sponsorship of the Needham H.S. "Reality Fair" on Friday, May 16th.   More than 350 students participated in the simulation of life (called reality vs. life as a high school student) as they learned in detail how tough it is after high school and college to match income with expenses.   Thanks to all Needham Rotarians (and their friends and associates) who participated so enthusiastically and helped make the morning both fun and informative.   Here's some pictures:
Posted by Kathy Whitney on May 06, 2014


Needham Rotary Club

Tuesday: May 4, 2014

Location:  Needham Sheraton


Pledge of Allegiance:  Glen Davis

Song:  God Bless America; Led By: Ron Sockol

Prayer: Led by Darrell Minnich


  • District Conference is May 16-17 at Holiday Inn in Boxboro. Paul Harris dinner on Friday, May 16th. Stop Hunger Now on May 17th also at the Holiday Inn in Boxboro.
  • Reality Fair set for Friday, May 16th.  Thank you Gary Zeller for lining up several new Reality Fair attendees!
  • Needham High School Honor Society sponsoring Stop Hunger Now event.  We are invited to help at noon on Wednesday, May 14th at the high school.
  • June 3 Scholarship recipients will join us for lunch.  Thank you, Dan, Rick and Lois for choosing winners.
  • June 24th, Harvey Leonard will be speaker.
  • Let Rich or Glen know your choices for committees within the next 24-48 hours or they will choose for you.
  • Darrell complimented Tom as speaker at Eagle Scout ceremony.  He did a terrific job and represented Rotary very well.  We donate the Eagle Scout kits for the ceremony.



  • Ed Mulhall, Family Federal

Happy Dollars:  Go Bruins; many happy to be here; Roberta was proud grandma, happy to hear her granddaughter solo in school musical; Erica for a wonderful week in Kauai – Aloha; proud father, Tom, for son John’s college graduation; Lois wishing Ron a happy birthday today; Greg reminding us that America’s business is business; Bill for daughter, Sarah’s, 18th birthday; Ken for son coming home this weekend; in memory of Maria McTiernan, Development DIirector of the Charles River Center, who passed away last weekend; and Charles happy for the good weather.


Lois’s Presidential Minute: What president was born on Beale St., Brookline; prevented nuclear conflagration and said “Forgive your enemies, just don’t forget who they are”?  John F. Kennedy.  Our 2nd president  has a birthday today.  He was president of Needham Little League and Needham Rotary – Ron, of course.

50:50:  Ron Sockol has lucky number but no luck drawing queen of hearts.  $228 still in pot.

5 Minute Rotarian of the Day:  Tom Savino joined Needham Rotary in 1995;  president from 1998-1999; treasurer from 1999-2012.  Currently he is trustee of scholarship fund and trustee of District Charity fund.  He is very proud of 20 year perfect attendance.  Tom was born in Connecticut; lived in Worcester and moved around quite a bit.  Went to Rutgers and graduated in 3yrs, 1 mo.  He is 6th of 8 children.  He returned to MA and has been here for the last 26 yrs.  Has 2 children who are both Eagle Scouts and musicians.  Tom also updated us on the state of our scholarship fund which is in very good shape.  Thank you Tom and Erica for good job.




Birthday: Ron Sockol

Guest Speaker:  None

Future Meeting:  Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at Sheraton Needham

Posted by Rich Forte on Apr 29, 2014

Rotary Club of Needham

Tuesday April 29, 2014

Location: Sheraton, Needham


Pledge of Allegiance: Glen

Song: America Led by Bob

Invocation: Darrell



Glen asked for introductions of guests present.  Our guests included Andy Winig of the Arlington Rotary, Ed Mullens, new assistant Branch Manager of Family Federal Savings, as a guest of Debra Kazarian


Lois provided the group with our Presidential Moment.  Lois provided clues to the group, with the answer being President Truman.


Happy Dollars: A whole bunch of “Happy to be Here”, Deb for her guest: Ed, Bill for successful move to new home, Darrell for the storm victims, Andrew for a great family vacation to Florida and Disney, Charles for spring skiing at Jay Peak, Ken is waiting for spring, Rich for his two daughters safe return from their school trips, Scott is happy winter is almost over, Marty threw in $20 to celebrate his Dad’s 101st birthday and his 50th High School graduation reunion, George for his mother-in-law, Barbara’s 93 birthday, Roz for Frugal Fanny shopping and Roberta for sharing the afternoon with all of us!


Our Humor of the day was presented by Doug George and Jim Brown:

Southern Law Joke

Questions asked in a courtroom can be very revealing... especially in the South. Even of an old, sweet lady many would be happy to call grandma.

In a trial in the heart of the South, a prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly woman he had known since childhood, to the stand.

He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Whitaker, do you know me?"

She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Coolidge. I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, cheat, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit lawyer. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Whitaker, do you know the defense attorney?"

She again replied, "Of course, I do. I've known Mr. Johnson since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Yes, I know him."

The defense attorney turned red with embarrassment.  The judge upon hearing the questions and answers thus far asked both counselors to approach the bench. In a very quiet voice he said, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, I'll throw you in jail for contempt."

Continuing our “Get to Know Me” segment, Mr. Marty Lindemann was invited to share with the group some interesting facts about his life that we may not know about him.

Marty was born in St. Louis Missouri 67 years ago and with his Dad’s military service moved every three years, traveling the world and a good part of the USA.  He is one of four boys.  He spent two years in the army and when through spent some time working to help families with re-location services, eventually moving on to Silicon Valley where he met his wife of 24 years.  He took his liberal arts education and became involved in Human Resources and that led to process management.  He and his wife adopted two boys (now age 12) from Kazakhstan about 11 years ago.  He has been a Rotarian for over 25 years and looks forward to continuing as a Rotarian with the Needham chapter (officially now that he has his badge!).


Charles had the lucky number for a chance to draw the queen of hearts to split the $213 pot.  Too bad, Charles pulled the ace of spades!


  • STOP HUNGER- the High School is trying to raise money and pack 20,000 meals on May 14th.  Glen passed around a sample meal that will feed 6.  Donations are appreciated!
  • COMMITTEES- if you have not sent Rich an email with your committee preferences, you will be assigned to committees to show off your talents!
  • Reality fair is May 16th.  Thanks to those who will be helping.  The more folks the better to help manage the 400+ students.


Guest Speaker: None



Posted by Douglas George on Apr 22, 2014

**Needham Rotary Club**

 April 22, 2014

Location: Needham Sheraton Hotel

Pledge of Allegiance: President Glen led us

Song:  God Bless America; Led By: Roberta

Prayer: Led by Darrell Minnich


·  The Realty Fair will on held on Friday  May 16th – looking for help.

·  Mae Hardenback spoke of the NHS program to donate 20,000 meals to countries around the world with starvation.  She was soliciting cash donations and manpower to assist in packing these meals on May 14th at the high school.

·  Ted reported on two gift of life recipients upcoming: 2 year old Valeria from El Salvador and 16 year old Daniela from Panama. 


  • Gary Zeller,  potential Needham Rotarian
  • Mae Hardenbach a Senior  from the Needham High National Honor Society.
  • Jason Hartz, our speaker

Happy Dollars: Lots for the weather, our guests, HTBH and the marathon.  Doug for a new grandson and Ted for the two new gift of life recipients. .

50:50:  $198 is now in the pot, but Scott picked the 4 of hearts; sorry Scott!

Birthdays: None

Presidential minute:  None this week.

5 Minute Rotarian of the Day: Bob Cocks told us of his          experiences from Bates College, to the Navy, to a successful career as a banker, and now in later years a Real Estate agent. He has two children, both of whom are married with children. Bob’s passion is music. He sings in the church choir, as well he has sung with the ‘Center Streeters’ in Dover, and that is what he really enjoys. We are fortunate to have him as a member!

Guest Speaker: Our speaker, Jason Hartz is a Sandler sales trainer who held an open forum with us in getting us out of our comfort zone to improve our businesses.  His business is in Waltham.  

Joke of the day: First, from Louise…

An airplane was about to crash; there were 5  passengers on board, but only 4 parachutes.

The first passenger, Holly Madison, said, ‘I have my own reality show and I am the  smartest

and prettiest woman at Playboy, so Americans don’t want me to die”.  She took the first pack and jumped out of the plane.


The second passenger, John McCain, said, “I’m a Senator, and a decorated war hero from an

elite Navy unit from the United States of America.”  So he grabbed the second pack and jumped.


The third passenger, Barack Obama said, “I am the President of the United States and I am the smartest ever in the history of our country, some even call me the “Anointed One”.

So he grabbed the pack next to him and jumped out.

The fourth passenger, Billy Graham, said to the fifth passenger, a 10 year old  schoolgirl,“I have lived a full life and served my God the best I could.  I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute.


The little girl said, “ That’s okay, Dr. Graham.  There’s a parachute left for you.

America’s smartest President took my school backpack.

Next is Doug’s contribution… Francis Norton woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf. So... he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and convinced him to say Mass for him that day.

As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father Norton headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away. This way he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his parish.

Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church! At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed, "You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?"

The Lord sighed, and said, "No, I guess not."

Just then Father Norton hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole. It WAS A 420 YARD HOLE IN ONE!

St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, "Why did you let him do that?"

The Lord smiled and replied, "Who's he going to tell?"

Neither received standing ovations.  Better luck next week.

Posted by Jim Brown on Apr 15, 2014

Needham Rotary Club News for April 8, 2014

The highlight of our weekly meeting was clearly the presence of Henry Hicks, and his engaging wife, Amy Hicks.   Henry, now retired from being the long-time anchor of the history department at Needham High School, and the former head of the Needham Historical Society, presented a program filled with early Needham historical facts.  He opened with a scene from 1856 at the now long-gone Fremont Street Railroad Station where five to ten thousand Needham residents greeted presidential candidate John C. Fremont, pathfinder of the West and the first Republican candidate for president.  Needham was a fiercely independent place, strongly anti-slavery and disgusted with Democrats who had extended the boundaries of slavery and installed the hated Fugitive Slave Act in the famous Compromise of 1850.

Henry's stories were fascinating snapshots of Needham history.   In a visit in 1789 George Washington (he must have slept somewhere in Needham) pronounced the roads of Needham to be the worst he had encountered in America (we're doing a bit better today).   In 1849 the Town of Needham voted (meaninglessly) to impeach Massachusetts senator and long time hero, Daniel Webster, because he was a Mason (Needham opposed and voted against the Massachusetts Masonic Party).   Throughout the 19th century, Needham battled hated enemy Boston as it fought annexation by securing its own water supply by digging what were then the deepest wells in America.   The water wars of those years helped found Norfolk County and shape today's towns and water supplies to the west of Boston.


We wanted our "classroom time" with Henry to go on for the whole semester, even though a couple of members remembered being lucky to get a "C" in Henry's classes at Needham HS!  He was a demanding grader and the kind of teacher people fondly remember for life!  We also learned that his wife, Amy, is still a synchronized swimmer and an athlete who still "throws the hammer." 


Rotary Club business for the day included an autobiographical talk by Needham Rotary Club member Kathy Whitney.  She and her husband, Bill, shared his 20-year plus radar career in the Navy, moving to Massachusetts for his second career in electronics at Raytheon.  She recently retired from more than 30 years at Cox and Cox as a legal secretary.  Perhaps most interesting about Kathy is her heart for volunteering to help others.   She manages to find time for what seems like every Rotary project, at her church, at the Community Council, the spelling bee, library, the Charles River Gala, and other Needham events.  She is the go-to person if you want your event to succeed, and along the way "connects" people across our community!  She also cross-stitches, recently completing 50 vests for a boy's school in Uganda.  She and her husband restored a 1982 Jarvis sailboat, she's the co-commodore of friendship sloops, she boats to Maine regularly and has an email tag, "bigboatmama."  


Many of us other Rotarians are still striving to achieve the level of volunteerism that Kathy so ably demonstrates!  She is a role model for us to follow!  

PS:  She needs auction item donations for the Charles River Gala next week!

Other meeting notes:

One of the roles of club presidents is to keep the membership happy.   This past week President Glen Davis got an "A" grade from at least one member, Lois Sockol, who has been "complaining" lately about the lack of whipped cream at our luncheon buffet.   Glen ceremoniously delivered the whipped cream to Lois as a demonstration of his presidential responsiveness.



Finally, the club meeting on April 15th, tax day for those of you not paying attention, is a day for important club business.   The leadership team has been busy thinking about how to improve club structures and improve club participation in projects and event planning.  President Glen will be leading our vital discussion of Board proposals.



Posted by Kathy Whitney on Apr 01, 2014

Posted by Rich Forte on Mar 25, 2014





Posted by Jim Brown on Mar 18, 2014

Posted by Jim Brown on Mar 11, 2014

Posted on Mar 10, 2014


FOR MARCH 4, 2014





President Glenn Davis welcomed our speakers for the day who are visiting Rotarians from Kathmandu, Nepal.  Mangala Shrestha and her husband, Jagan Nath Shrestha, presented a picture of a local Rotary club “on fire” with the Rotarian spirit of serving others. 


Their Chandragiri Rotary club is busy with literacy programs (especially for young women who traditionally are not educated equally with men in their society), vocational technical training, career counseling, and sponsoring an orphanage, old age homes and housing for the physically disabled.  Because Kathmandu only has eight hours a day of electricity, their club has put up solar powered streetlights and trained people in sustainable energy development (Jagan Nath is a professor of energy studies and President of the Nepal Solar Energy  Society).


They are in the Boston area visiting their son and his wife and their grandkids, and they plan to be here for several weeks.  Their smiles, optimism, and stories of the needs of people in their community and the ways that Rotary and Rotarians meet those needs, provided our members with tangible and compelling insight into the global “connections” that we enjoy as Rotarians with 1.2 million other men and women members!




The program was the perfect finishing touch on a discussion about whether the club wants to “take it to the next level” in increasing our involvement with needs in our community of Needham, around the district and around the world.  Rich Forte, even though hobbled with his foot injury, led a positive discussion by members around the topic of “what’s next for us?”


This discussion is timely given the fact that no member has stepped up to take the role of club president for next year.  Our succession plan was broken by the sudden resignation of our designated new president due to business transfer.  Even though this week the district training program is being conducted for new presidents, we have not yet sent a person.  If YOU want to serve, please tell President Glen immediately.


Listeners to the discussion heard a commitment by a majority of those present to a reinvigorated effort to add new projects (such as the Music Awards Program done by Rachel, Greg and others), recommit to and perhaps redesign long standing programs (such as the Pancake Breakfast), and to redouble our efforts in membership, fund raising and weekly programs.  Those who spoke praised the spirit of the club, the enjoyable camaraderie of members and our reputation for community service in the town.


Clearly, we need to tell our story, add new members, increase our revenues (money allows more service) and be willing to change some of our habits and ways.  Interestingly, our Rotarian guests from Nepal said that many of the things we were going through are regularly faced by their club many thousands of miles away!


The discussion was challenging, interesting and positive, and most were expressively committed to “taking it to the next level.”




We skipped humor for the day (with apologies to Doug George, who no doubt had a couple of really good ones for us).  There were plenty of “glad to be here” happy thoughts, Ron and Lois were back with us after several weeks away in “sunny, warm Florida” (they had to rub it in), and (perhaps the biggest news) Bill Paulson is happy with his new job at Keller Williams Realty.  Bill also volunteered to begin a new feature of our weekly club meetings, a five-minute verbal biography.  What an interesting guy he is and sitting right next to us!





Hey, Needham Rotary, pat yourselves (collectively) on the back for an outstanding day of service to the community.  On Saturday, March 8th, about fifteen members, family and friends gathered at the nonprofit Needham Community Council Building at 570 Hillside Avenue, to lay about 600 square feet of carpet tiles in the newly refurbished second floor storeroom (next to the clothing thrift store).  It was a great “hands-on” project for the club and thanks to all those who gave up their Saturday to help.  We got paid with free donuts and coffee and a whole lot of satisfaction that comes from volunteering!


Special thanks for leadership and technical help (and tools) go to Dan Tibma and Doug George without whom most of us would have been either standing around or making really BIG mistakes!


The pictures show intense concentration, hard work and a whole lot of fun that was had by all.  But, it took several days to get all of the carpet glue and fibers from under our nails!




















Posted by Douglas George on Feb 25, 2014

Posted by Jim Brown on Feb 18, 2014

Posted by Marty Lindemann on Feb 17, 2014

Needham Rotary Club

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Location:  Needham Sheraton Hotel


Our meeting was changed to the Sheraton at the last minute from the Senior Center (scheduling conflict at the center), and was called to order by President Glen Davis.  He led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, we sang patriotically with gusto and prayed earnestly, but due to the sudden change of venue, we didn't have a program.   


Instead, we enjoyed lively table talk, tossed some ribbing around the room, sang loudly for our birthday boys (see pic below), and had some important discussion about the upcoming leadership needs of the club since we no longer have a designated president for next year (2014-15).




Libby Pero from Capron Lighting, a soon to be new member as soon as the Board acts on her submitted application.



1.  The meeting on February 18th at the Sheraton is a really important meeting and we hope all our members will be present.   We will be honoring the winners of the recent Needham Music Awards which we sponsored.  They will be giving entertaining encore musical presentations for us.   The room will be filled with lots of visitors and guests.   It will be an excellent opportunity for us to make contact with non-Rotarians and friends and to tell our story of how we work in our community and around the world.

2.  We need someone to quickly step up and volunteer to be next year's president!  District training classes for new presidents begins next month and missing that opportunity is a loss for the new president and the club!  Call or email Glen Davis as soon as possible.   Our experienced Board and cadre of past presidents stands ready to help you and support the upcoming year's programs.


3.  Rotary International announced the extraordinary gift of $1.1M from Rotarians Terry and Barbara Caster to the Polio Plus Fund (Couple’s $1.1 million gift boosts push to eradicate polio).  Moreover, the couple's gift will be matched two to one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  This comes as news from India that the country has now been polio free for three years!   Thanks to each of you that has made a contribution to ending polio!


There's an excellent year-end report on the country by country status of the polio fight at


Presidential Moment:

We remembered with fondness our founding father, George Washington, and observed that he was the only president to die in the 1700's and who never resided as president in Washington, D.C. (only New York and Philadelphia).



Marty Lindemann won the draw and blew the chance to win $72.  The kitty swells next week!



We had no humor for the day.   Just kidding:

1.  Three guys were talking in the pub.  Two of them were discussing the amount of control they have over their wives, while the third remained silent.

After a while one of the first two turns to the third and asks “Well, what about you, what sort of control do you have over your wife?”

The third fellow says “I’ll tell you.  Just the other night my wife came to me on her hands and knees.”

The first two guys were amazed.  “What happened next?” they asked.

She said “Come out from under the bed and fight like a man.”

2.  As a trucker stops at a red light, a blonde catches up.   She jumps out of her car, runs up to his truck and knocks on the door.   The trucker lowers the window, and she says, "Hi, my name is Heather and you're losing some of your trailer's load."

The trucker ignores her and proceeds down the street.  When the truck stops for another red light, the woman catches up again.  She jumps out of her car, runs up and knocks on the door.  Again, the trucker rolls down the window.  As if they've never spoken, the blonde says brightly, "Hi, my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!"


When the light turned green the trucker revs up and races to the next traffic light, stops, jumps out of his cab and runs back to the blonde's car before she can repeat her warning. He knocks on her window, and as she lowers it, he says, "Hi, my name is Kevin, it's winter in Boston, and I'm driving the salt truck!"


Posted by Jim Brown on Feb 04, 2014

Posted by Kathy Whitney on Jan 28, 2014

Posted by Douglas George on Jan 14, 2014

Posted by Jim Brown on Jan 07, 2014

Posted by Rich Forte on Dec 17, 2013

Posted by Jim Brown on Dec 10, 2013

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