President Carl Lynde welcomed all to the February 11, 2021 meeting of the Brattleboro Rotary Club held via ZOOM. <ED NOTE: 28 members + 1 student Rotarians + 2 guests = 31 attended.> Dave Neumeister offered “The Miracle of Morning”, a poem by Amanda Gorman for inspiration:
I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there’s something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.
I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.
Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.
A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries.
She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.
While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
Our people have never been more closely tethered.
The question isn’t if we will weather this unknown,
But how we will weather this unknown together.
So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.
As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.
We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees;
With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists;
Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.
We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
In this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering, we must find solidarity.
For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.
Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.
We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.
<ED NOTE: Weekly assignments for the invocation or motivational thought can be found on the club website. The following would be the next people on the list: Gina Pattison (2/18), Tami Purcell (2/25)>
This was followed by the pledge of allegiance. 
Guests: Visiting Rotarian Tristam Johnson, John Willis, and Jonathan Ruybalid (speaker)


Who created the first Valentine's Day box of chocolates?
(Answer below)
For the joke of the week, Carl Lynde told the following on behalf of Steve Gordon:
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap." Her husband looked on but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly, I wonder who taught her this." The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows." And so, it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look!
At our February 18th meeting, Jim Haine will tell a joke or lead us in song and Chris Hart will offer a Rotary Minute.  2020-21 weekly assignments are posted on the club website.
For the Rotary Minute, Liz Harrison told us about what North Carolina Rotary Clubs are doing to help vaccinate against COVID-19 by reading a commentary by Dawn Rochelle, governor of Rotary District 7730:
Looking at the newest update on COVID-19 in November, my fellow governors in North Carolina, USA, felt we had to do something. Having been a part of two National Immunization Day trips to India in 2015 and 2019 with Zone 33 regional Rotary Foundation coordinator Nancy Barbee, I knew that Rotarians had the ability to respond with a vaccine on the horizon. The global polio eradication partnership gives a blueprint that provides a strategy that is effective in any community. Rotary can be a part of the COVID-19 response strategy in the same way it has been for polio and other viruses.
Together, our six district governor classmates, part of the Zone 33/34 “Flamingos,” came together by contacting the Office of the Secretary, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) offering support based on our past work to eradicate polio. From these initial conversations, the beginning of a coordinated strategy has emerged that involves more than 12,200 Rotarians in North Carolina  standing ready to help when called upon.
Rotarians across the state are receiving information to elevate their confidence in the vaccines available and answer their questions. This will better equip them to provide guidance and build confidence in others, as Rotarians are looked up to as leaders in their communities. The more we have thought space together, the better. View the webinar we held 21 January with the Department of  Health and Human Services at
We sent the link to the presentation along with materials to all participating Rotarians to review and share with their clubs. You can download these in English & Spanish: English: or Spanish:
Health and Human Services staff will provide a follow-up webinar for Rotarians in the same format to continue providing education and elevate awareness about vaccines and vaccine distribution.  The webinars also serve as a place for members to ask questions and strategize ways they can provide support.
Additionally, Rotary has offered to support local health departments, which are actively vaccinating North Carolinians. Our district governors have coordinated points of contact for Health and Human Services for all 85 local health departments. The state department has sent this list out to all local departments. Support will look different in different communities but can include food trays for health workers and volunteers so they can eat and not spend extra time getting food, assistance with check-in processes, helping with vaccinations if you are a health worker, providing data entry support, and helping with traffic control, in conjunction with local law enforcement.
For more information on our efforts in North Carolina, you can contact me at
At our February 18th meeting, Jim Haine will tell a joke or lead us in song and Chris Hart will offer a Rotary Minute.  2020-21 weekly assignments are posted on the club website.
  • 02/18 – Jeremy Coleman - Natural History presentation based on his photographs and observations
  • 02/25 – Neil Cass, “Rotary flag subscription fundraiser”
  • 03/11 - Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Executive Director, Youth Services
NOTE: 2020-21 weekly assignments, are posted on the club website.


  • Please bring your bottles and cans to 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.
This is the 30th newsletter of the 2020-2021 club year. 
The editor would like to take this opportunity to thank the 4 people who have bragged so far. A quick check of readership reveals that over 50% of the club is reading this newsletter. Don't be shy to brag, readers.


NONE ;-(


  1. The following members were acknowledged for their years of service: Regina Stefanelli (3) and Marcy Jones (38).
  2. Pledges totaling $4600 were raised for the repair of Sno Gun motor at Living Memorial Park.
  3. The Living Memorial Park is looking for volunteers for its ski program.
  4. Student Rotarians will be leading the 4/1 meeting.
  5. Minutes from today’s board meeting will be posted on the club’s website.
  6. A group of area folks is meeting to discuss what else can be done to help Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. For more info, contact Rob Szpila.
<ED NOTE: Yes, we are keeping track of these happy dollars and brags.
Unless noted, happy dollars and brags are $1>
  1. Carla Lineback – for the free online webinars offered by SIT
  2. Carla Lineback – for her parents receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.
  3. Dave Neumeister ($5) – in memory of Rotarian Tom Johnson, an avid ski volunteer.
  4. Bill Vermouth – for Dave Neumeister being in a place that actually needs a fan running.
Marty Cohn presented Jon Ruybalid, founder, Whiteclay Makerspace. The liquor stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska made national news. For years, the four businesses in the tiny town gave residents of the alcohol-free Pine Ridge Indian Reservation easy access to liquor. Back in 2017, the stores shut down. Now, a non-profit is turning one of the empty buildings into a makerspace – a shared studio where artists can use tools and supplies. The force behind this project is Jon Ruybalid, an attorney who practices law in Phoenix and in Henderson, Nebraska. You can purchase art by visiting
<ED NOTE: You can watch past presentations on the BCTV show, “Brattleboro Rotary Club Speaker Series.”
Rotary Cares - TV Show 
Rotary Cares, Episode 32 –
Meet the District 7870 Governor Steve Puderbaugh
In episode 32 of the award-winning, monthly show, Rotary Cares, Brattleboro Rotary Club past president Marty Cohn talks to District 7870 District Governor Steve Puderbaugh. The show is produced by Brattleboro Community Television.
To watch the show, click here.
To listen to the podcast, click here.


Past President Martin Cohn who attempts to give a gist of the meeting respectfully submitted this bulletin.  However, it is always better to attend.  If you have any complaints about the contents of this bulletin...


Richard Cadbury, son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury, created 'fancy' boxes of chocolates to increase sales. He used drawings of his family and Alpine scenes to decorate them. In 1861, he created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine's Day.
Russell Hampton
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