President Gina Pattison welcomed all to the August 17, 2023 meeting of the Brattleboro Rotary held at the Retreat Farm complex.
Invocation - Roger Allbee – an invocation, may we keep those who have been impacted by natural disasters in our thoughts.
President Gina Pattison led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance .
18 members and 2 guests attended

Matt P. a prospective new member is a guest with Greg Worden

Steven Clark – Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience – he’s in Vermont currently due to the floods 

Years of Service in our Club for August:

8/12/2022 – George Karabakakis – 1 year

8/12/2022 – Frank LaGrande – 1 year 

On Behalf of our Club and all Rotarians, thank you for your Service Above Self
Birthday greetings -

Rob Szpila – Had a birthday since we last met

Rhonda Calhoun – August 21st

Special messages
Starting 8/24/23: Meeting location - New Location  – The Heart Rose Club – 11 Green Street in Brattleboro – starting NEXT WEEK. No RSVPs in advance needed, menus to be announced, and they can accommodate vegetarian dishes.
    • Betsy – New Location – starting next week – The Heart Rose Club – 11 Green Street in Brattleboro – starting NEXT WEEK. No RSVPs in advance needed, menus to be announced, and they can accommodate vegetarian dishes.

      Big Thanks to Betsy for coordinating all these arrangements and locations and food!

      Rob – Disc golf tournament is coming up – 9/30 and 10/1-  special thanks to Tami and Berkley & Veller; Edward Jones; Mara and the Brattleboro Art Museum; Rich and his colleagues; George is sponsoring again – very thankful for the sponsors already coming in

      Reminder for Stan -we have a Groundworks dinner on September 13th; Yesterday’s Groundworks dinner was very good-special thanks to all who contributed.

      The Retreat Farm is looking for 4 volunteers to help with a painting project on 9/8/23 from 3-5pm; if we can identify at least 4 volunteers, then we will be able to receive 100% of the Brattleboro on Wheels event proceeds, whereas last year we received 50%. Reach out to Stan if you’re willing and able to help!

      Events coming up:
      Car show
    • Disc golf tournament is coming up – 9/30 and 10/1
    • Almost Oktoberfest, Sept 30
ED NOTE: Weekly assignments for the invocation or motivational thought can be found on the club website.>


For our joke or song of the week: 
Betsy Gentile –
Alvin is working in his store when he hears a booming voice from above that says "Alvin. Sell your business!", Alvin, believing it to be just in his head ignores it.
But the voice carries on for days, saying "Alvin. Sell your entire business for 3 million dollars!", after coming to terms that the voice is not just in his head, he relents and sells his store and entire business.
The voice booms again "Alvin. Go to Las Vegas!"
Alvin asks why
"Alvin. Just take the 3 million dollars and go to Las Vegas"
Alvin obeys, goes to Las Vegas and visits a casino.
The voice booms again "Alvin. Go to the blackjack table and put it all down on one hand!"
Alvin hesitates, but has come this far and gives in. He's dealt an eighteen and the dealer has a six showing.
"Alvin. Take a card!"
Alvin replies "What? The dealer has..."
"Take a card!"
Alvin reluctantly asks the dealer to hit him, he gets an ace. Nineteen. He takes a deep breath of relief.
"Alvin. Take another card."
Alvin freezes for a second, swallows hard and asks the dealer to hit him again. It's another Ace. Twenty. Alvin cannot believe his luck.
The voice commands again "Take another card!"
"I HAVE TWENTY" Alvin cries.
"Hit me..." Alvin says.
Another Ace. Twenty-one!
The booming voice says "Un-freaking-believable."
ED NOTE: 2022-23 weekly assignments are posted on the club website.
For the Rotary Minute 

Ana Saavedra – discussed the fires in Maui and the humanitarian crisis; the Rotary club of District 5000 in Hawaii – has established a fund – if anyone wants to donate. She is proud how Rotary jumped in. Link for article below:,and%20rebuild%20stronger%20than%20ever.&text=Aloha%3A,on%20the%20Island%20of%20Maui

Note for future presenters; The Rotary Minute could also have the speaker talk about their personal involvement in Rotary or personal background.
  •     Jim Haine announced:
  • 8/24/23  -Peter Elwell from Groundworks  

    8/30/23 -Ellen and Mike’s restless adventures

     November – Steven Fox from BMH is coming 

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

FINES – everyone behaving today.
Happy Dollars:

Chris Hart – Just returned from a fabulous trip in the Galapagos Islands – island hopping on a catamaran with 13 other lucky individuals – a dream since she was in 7th grade fulfilled

Jerry – He and his family are participating in a Rotary golf tournament – if they win, he will come back with a bigger bragJ He’s excited they are participating.

Jerry- Big thanks and a brag for Jim Haine and all his dedicated work keeping our programs running over the years.

George Weir – bragging for his granddaughter’s award-winning maple brownies from the fair

Mike Mandracchia - $20 brag for all the volunteers who will step forward to help with the painting on 9/8 as he will be at an Orioles game on that day.

As we waited for our guest, discussion returned to the replacement idea if we decide not to do the Christmas trees.

Fine- Ruben fined himself – and thanks Jim for the help in programs; he was late this week with his information on his program.

Guest Speaker:

Speaker: Jenny Crowell from Retreat Farm and our very own Brattleboro Rotarian member. Jenny came to discuss with us about the North Barn project at the Retreat Farm. Starting Monday-the renovation of this 190-year-old barn begins with a literal barn raising-the historical barn footprint will remain the same but they will lift it to add foundation, then lift the roof to add insulation. This new venue will be a gathering place that will have a seating capacity for 250 for dinner and 600 for concerts and lectures. While it will host up to 10 weddings a year, the focus of this space is to be accessible for the Brattleboro community’s needs primarily-hoping that it can be a place for non-profit fundraisers, school proms or functions, music and performance space, and even an option for future Food Truck Roundup evenings. The projected opening date will be mid June 2024  - be on the lookout for a way to buy a $4 pin to help “raise the barn” and support this major restoration effort.


Your scribe Regina Stefanelli

Scribe of the Day: Regina Stefanelli


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