President Roger Allbee welcomed all to the May 5 2023 meeting of the Brattleboro Rotary Club usually held at the Brattleboro American Legion.
Call to Order by President Roger and the Pledge of Allegiance was given.
Invocation:   America the Beautiful was sung by all. Dave Twombly suggestion of the Student Rotarians singing again got a laugh but no additional verse.
Thirty one Rotary members attended, six  Student Rotarians
Guests:  Adam Grinold - speaker
Roger announced that the Guilford Country Store, under its new management, catered our lunch this week while the Legion chef is on vacation.
Birthday greetings - None today
Special messages
Next Groundworks meals –
Friday, June 9th
Wednesday, July 12th
Wednesday, August 16th
Golf Tournament, June 8th SAVE THE DATE.  On facebook, please share.
  • Other meals are scheduled for  June 9, July 12, August 16.
  • Stan announced that we will still be doing the meal project at Groundworks but we will not be doing it in May.  Stan hopes that we will have one in June.
    Bill announced that he is starting the Golf Tournament Silent Auction today.  There is also a Sign up sheet for volunteering for different shifts.  This is a mandatory project and we need members to sign up.  Raffle tickets will be on sale next week.  The raffle is drawn by name, not number, and you do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit for how many tickets you can buy!
    Betsy announced that the next meeting with the Student Rotarians is on June 1st.  She suggested that they volunteer at the Golf Tournament.  She reminded them that she needs their Community Service forms by June 1st.
  • There are a lot of activities planned for the fall including:
    • Car show
    • Welcome center
    • Almost Oktoberfest, Sept 30
ED NOTE: Weekly assignments for the invocation or motivational thought can be found on the club website.>


For our joke of the week: 
Hmmm... stay tuned.
ED NOTE: 2022-23 weekly assignments are posted on the club website.
For the Rotary Minute - Ted Kramer gave the Rotary Minute for Tucker.  Tucker and his fiancé are about to have a baby, due in June, and Tucker is not attending public get togethers right now.  Ted said he has invited Steve Heim to a Rotary meeting, he feels that he would be a great addition to our Club.  Steve was not able to make it this week.  Ted is also going to follow up with an invitation to the Police Chief.  Ted suggested that if any Rotary Members are out in the community and think of someone who might benefit from joining our Club, and we could benefit from having them as a Member, to please ask them if they would be interested in joining.
Rotary anniversaries : Ana 15 years, Cathy Coonan 31 years, Bill McKim 35 years and Dart 42 years!
  •     5/11 – An eyewitness account of the Civil War Camp in Brattleboro
        5/18 – Cheri Ann and George Anthes will have an arm wrestling contest about which one will have the program and what will they do
NOTE: 2022-23 weekly assignments, are posted on the club website.


  • Please bring your bottles and cans to the Putney Road redemption center to benefit Pure Water for the World. Please remember to inform the staff that the bottles and cans should be credited to the club.
  • “Like” the club’s Facebook page

FINES & Happy Dollars

  • Rob talked about the party and dinner that was held last Saturday at the homes of the Afghan families who wanted to express their gratitude to Rotary for those who donated towards their car.  He said it was a lot of fun and because it was at two homes they were able to separate the men and women as they would traditionally do in Afghanistan.  Rob heard that the women had a great time and there was dancing involved.  He bragged for the support that the Club offered.
    Gina shared that she went to PETS training which was held in Lebanon, NH last Friday and Saturday.  She said it was nice to get together with other members of our District.  On Saturday they announced a Community Service Award for the Brattleboro Rotary Club and the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club for our work with the Afghanistan Refugees.  She bragged for Rob Szpila and George Anthes for all that they have done for this.
    Rick bragged for Cathy for taking the minutes today for our Newsletter.  He has a difficult time writing due to having Parkinson’s.
    Greg bragged for Vermont Artisan Designs being featured in the Yankee Annual Travel Guide as a must-stop on a tour of Southern Vermont.  He is grateful for that.
    Roger bragged for Rob Szpila and George Anthes for helping new members into our community.
    Betsy introduced the 6 Student Rotarians from Hinsdale, Leland & Gray and BUHS.  She said that some students were unable to make it today due to a lot going on this time of year and with finals coming up.  The students each spoke about what is going on at their schools and in their personal lives.  Bill McKim passed the hat for a project that is going on at BUHS (collecting clothes, feminine products, cash, etc.) for women who are getting out of detention at the Chittenden Correctional Facility.
    Roger thanked Jim and Ali from the Guilford Country Store for the great food that has been provided for the last 3 weeks. 
Guest Speaker:
Greg introduced Adam Grinold who is the Executive Director of BDCC.  Adam talked about how BDCC has done a lot of different things in the past and when it started it was industrial focused.  It has shifted from working with large industrial employers to modern economic development.  SEVEDS was created In 2011 by Jeff Lewis, Laura Sibilia and others who were concerned about broadband and cell service.  Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) was created in 2014.  It is a Federal program for Windham and Bennington Counties.  It was renewed in 2019 and it is about to go out for another 5 year renewal.  BDCC was focused on Precision Manufacturing and Optics.  GS Precision  is now much more robust and has grown significantly.  Chroma and Omega Optical are continuing to grow.  Then COVID hit and BDCC got a lesson on working with small businesses.  They expanded to small businesses across the county.  They have no capacity to support this.  They have 5-7 inquiries per month looking for help (writing a business plan, bookkeeping, etc).  15 years ago we had a good Score Chapter in the area.  BDCC is looking for volunteers who are experts in a field.  Adam asked us to spread the word about the Score program, it may be a perfect fit for someone.  It can be very flexible.  They are looking for folks to support entrepreneurs.  Adam wanted to thank M&T Bank, it was recently announced that they are funding BDCC’s P3 Program.  It is a High School program designed to help Vermont students successfully prepare for and access employment opportunities.  It runs in all four Windham County Supervisory Unions.  M&T has given $20,000/year for 3 years and there is a match to get other businesses involved.
Mike Mandracchia bragged for Adam and his leadership at BDCC for the last 8 years and also for Chris Brown, a long time member of our Rotary Club who was a volunteer for Score.
Scribe of the Day: Rick Manson with loving assistance from Cathy


Weekly changing scribes and questionable IT may have resulted in oversights and errors. We regret any mistakes.
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