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Image Fran's Food, Fun and Fellowship Fete was wonderful. As you can see, we had a lot of fun, food, and fellowship. We missed all of you who could not be there. It would have been even better with you there.

Thanks Fran, Tracy and Taylor for your kind hospitality! Thanks Fran, Chef Ed, and Dick for cooking and serving up such a wonderful meal! 

For more photos, please go to:

ImageDr. Lisa Ford gave us a very educational talk on the Tudors, the styles, the history, and how research can be conducted about a period through examining the art from and about that period.


 ImageDr. Ford further discussed with us the Order of the Garter and its significance through the ages as depicted in this picture.

Despite having difficulties of their own, several members of the North Branford Rotary Club responded to the needs of the community after Tropical Storm Irene hit us. Club President Robert Hull, Past President Fran Merola, and Member Bill Choti all helped organize the community shelter set up in the Middle School. They and several people from the community often worked over 12 straight hours to provide help to those less fortunate.

Club member Donna Christensen invited fellow club members who had no power, water, or phone to come to her place to take care of the amenities. She also invited several people who were affected for dinner on Monday. On Tuesday, the Popolizios, both members of the club, extended the same to members still affected.


ImageThe Club welcomed 2 new members Anne and Rosalie Merola, the sister and mother of Past President Fran Merola. Fran's father is a member of the Branford Rotary Club. Both Anne and Rosalie were inducted by PDG Paul Burns. While Rosalie was sponsored by Fran, Anne was sponsored by President-Elect Mary Lou Gargiulo.

ImageNearly 2 million Ugandans fled from their homes during the brutal civil war that began in the northern region of the country in 1986 and went on for 2 decades.  Human rights violations and war crimes were committed by both sides of the conflict, but especially those crimes perpetrated by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  As the violence escalated in the northern part of Uganda in 1988, 40 camps for Internally Displaced Persons, “IDP Camps”, were created. Farmers had to move their entire families out of wide-open fertile land into the crowded IDP camps; each family had a mud hut with a few feet between each hut. Children, like George Odora, were abducted and converted into soldiers.

In 2006, the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement was signed between the government and the LRA. Kony fled and his present location is unknown. He is not in Uganda. Before he disappeared, the LRA massacred hundreds of people in unprotected villages and IDP camps throughout northern Uganda. Kony abducted over 80, 000 people, more than half of whom were children whom he converted to child soldiers through brainwashing, and warped traditional and Christian practices to generate extreme terror in the individual and the population. George was one of these child soldiers. The International Criminal Court has indicted Kony for war crimes. 

In 2007, the government declared the IDP camps “closed,” removing the armed protection of them, and declared the region safe for internal refugees to return to their homes.  During my June 2008 visit to Gulu, essentially the capital of Northern Uganda, I visited some of these IDP camps and saw that some were still “open” but were falling apart and in desperate need of reconstruction.  The traditional huts must be replaced every few years, yet these have been in place for over two decades.

Image   George Odora, a 26-year-old Ugandan who made it through the horrors of the civil war, managed to obtain a degree in civil engineering despite huge odds, and decided upon a career of building houses for IDP refugees to build homes on what was their land before the war. George was recently awarded a small grant by a German foundation, enough to construct about 30 houses to begin to   replace the dilapidated IDP camps in the war-torn region where he grew up.  George’s grant from the Dekeyser & Friends Fellowship Program was based on his proposal to establish a sustainable project to build housing for those who are being evicted from destroyed IDP camps 


For more photos, please check out the photo journal on our home page or:

You can see the presentation give by George at:

ImageThe Club welcomed George Odora (September 7) who spoke to us about his life and his ambitions for his country and fellow citizens of Uganda (please see accompanying story). His visit to the US was sponsored by the Center for International Management Education (CIME), a non-profit organization founded by Richard Shriver. George spoke about being caught up in the civil war in Uganda and recruited as a child soldier. When the war ended, George completed school and then volunteered with the Dekeyser Foundation to help rebuild villages devastated by the Christmas Tsunami in The Philippines. He earned a scholarship and completed his civil engineering degree. He is now helping build houses for people displaced by the civil war and returning home to their villages.
ImageSeveral club members came out for the Friedrich's Ataxia Research Association picnic held at club member Mary Caruso's home and adjoining North Branford Congregational Church on September 11, 2011. Participants said a silent prayer for those gone, their families, and all those affected by the horrors 10 years ago. The community walked along an old part of town to Lake Gaillard and back. Outback Steakhouse kindly donated the food. New club member Eric Hodgson circulated a petition to establish a park for pets (dogs) in town. The event raised over $8000 for research to help find a cure to this genetic disorder. For more pictures of the event, please check out our photo album from our home page or access it at: 
The club held their quarterly business meeting on September 14. The budget was discussed and passed. Several other resolutions on projects were also discussed and voted on.
ImageFormer Rotarian Mary Bigelow (right) introducing Carol Carlson, Executive Director of the Office of State Ethics at the club meeting on October 5, 2011. Ms. Carson spoke about the work of the State Ethics Board, its structure, the issues they address, the process, and their enforcement authority. She also spoke about the hurdles they face and how they overcome them. Most important, she spoke of the need for high ethical values in government.

ImageOn October 5th, the North Branford Rotary Club was proud to recognize Mary Bigelow (left) for her lifelong commitment to ethics in public service. She was presented with a Certificate of Recognition by Club President Bob Hull (center) with Ms. Carol Carson (right), Executive Director of the Office of State Ethics looking on. In making the presentation, Bob mentioned Mary's long time service on the Town Council, her championing for establishing a Code of Ethics for North Branford, and her currently serving as a member of the State Ethics Board.

Image Commander Robin Holzhauer had club members spellbound as she gave an overview of the life of a cadet joining the Coast Guard. She went on to provide the club with information on how we as Rotarians could participate in helping ease the life of a cadet and provide some respite from the rigors of training as they learn how to best serve our country through their work in the Coast Guard. She is helping the club liaise with the Coast Guard on some potential volunteer programs. Robin is on deputization from the State Department to the Coast Guard to teach cadets about diplomacy and dealing with encounters with foreign craft in US territorial waters.

She also gave the club an overview of her work as a member of our nation's diplomatic corps and spoke about her service in Russia, Kosovo, and  Venezuela.

ImageOn September 22, Asst. Gov. Mukund Nori spoke to the children from the Interact Club of the Independent Day School about his participation in a National Immunization Day. They had lots of questions and it was a very lively meeting. This club is in a middle school and should be used as a model for chartering others in the district.
ImageShelly Ren visited the club on October 12 and spoke about the origins of traditional Chinese culture. She informed the club about the organized uprooting of these centuries-old traditions over the past few decades. Finally, she showed evidence of the slow and steady rebirth of these traditions in recent times including a promotional video of a Chinese dance troup based in New York City. She is seen here on the right receiving a End Polio Now pin from Club President Bob Hull.
ImagePDG Dick Benson - Uncle Dick to some of us - passed away peacefully on October 2. He was a member of the Madison Rotary Club and served as our District Governor in 1999-2000. He was a long time supporter of the Haitian Health Foundation and helped the children in that impoverished country through his Governor's Project - Dick's Kids. He was currently serving as the chair of the District Interact Clubs. He will be sorely missed by the many people whose lives he touched in his quiet, inimitable way. Donations in his honor can be made to the Madison Rotary Club or to the Haitian Health Foundation.
ImageDanielle Roberts (center) was recognized as the NBRC Student of the Month for October. Danielle was nominated and selected by the Art Department of the North Branford High School. She is passionate about her painting and cut paper art work. She demonstrates many leadership qualities and is the President of both the Environmental and Arts Clubs and participates in multiple Honors classes. She is always willing to help out in any way she can and is involved in and will receive credit for outstanding community service. She is well respected by her peers and her teachers and the Rotary Club is proud to select her for this honor. She is seen here with Club President Bob Hull (far right), her mother Beth (second from right), Vice Principal Carter (far left), and Principal Todd Stoeffler (second from left).
ImageClub President Bob Hull (seated far right in green) and President-Elect Mary Lou Gargiulo (seated on Bob's right) attended the Council of Presidents on October 22nd at the Graduate Club in New Haven. They participated in interactive discussions with Presidents and Presidents-Elect from other clubs and their Assistant Governor. Bob reported that he has many ideas for the rest of this year and Mary Lou reported that it was good to get a head start as she plans her year leading our club.
ImageClub member Mukund Nori (left) was recognized by Rotary International for his contributions to the Permanent Fund and for reaching the status of Benefactor. He is seen here receiving the certificate and the Benefactor wings from Assistant Governor Jim Satterwhite (right). Mukund acknowledged the influence and example set by longtime club members Mike Bergantino and Ed Pikaart and AG Jim.

ImageCarol Small (left) and Carrie Ferrigno (second from right) were officially inducted into the club by Assistant Governor Jim Satterwhite (right) on October 26th. They are seen here with their sponsor, club member Eric Hodgson (second from left), who himself only joined the club at the beginning of this Rotary year. Carol owns and manages Poochie Play a pet care center and Carrie is a Nurse Practitioner. Please introduce yourselves to them.

This has been a banner year for membership growth in the club with 7 new members to date.

ImageTwo years ago, Elizabeth Pikaard (left), younger daughter of club member Ed Pikaart, went to Chile as an outbound Youth Exchange Scholar from our Club and District. Many of us will remember that there was a devastating earthquake in Chile during her tenure there. Despite the difficulties, Elizabeth stuck it out and discovered more about herself.

She has kindly provided us with a brief view on her thoughts on Youth Exchange. Please click to read what she wrote in her own words.

ImagePhysical Therapist Margie Pikaart was the featured speaker on October 26th. She gave a brief history of physical therapy and its association with early treatment of patients infected with the polio virus. She spoke about what is involved in physical therapy and how it can benefit a person. She distributed information on correct posture and ergonomic workstations and answered a whole bunch of questions on the educational qualifications and other aspects of her profession. Margie is the wife of club member Ed Pikaart.

ImageThis new feature is aimed to encourage members to learn more about the organization to which they belong. Every fortnight, a new set of questions will be sent out with the bulletin. All answers must be sent via e-mail to the club e-mail account: [accessible through the club website] within 1 week of receiving the bulletin. During the following club meeting a winner will be picked at random from all the correct entries and a food item will be donated in that person's name to the North Branford Community Food Bank. At the end of the year, the member who has the most donations will be receive a special recognition. You can access the questions and the answers to the previous questions by clicking on the title of this news item.

ImageThe first week in November is International Interact Week. This year Rotary International will be celebrating 49 years of Interact. The first club was chartered in 1962 with 23 students at Melbourne High School, in Melbourne, Florida. As of the beginning of the 2011-2012 Rotary Year, our District has 44 clubs and growing. The North Branford Rotary Club sponsored the North Branford High School Interact Club which was chartered in September 2009 with over 80 students.

Rotary International is sponsoring a contest for the best Interact Club video. You can download the application forms from

More information on the Interact program is available at:

ImageRtn. Graham Katzellenbogen, a member of the Sandton Rotary Club, Joannesburg, South Africa took me to visit 2 of their projects. They support several schools in various shanty towns. He took me to the Refilwe Hall and Community Centre where families living in Blair Atholl Farm all of whom were losing their homes due to change in ownership were relocated to land leased from the Anglican Church. The Sandton Rotary Club partnered with Refilwe, a Christian organization that practices self-reliance and helps all those in need without proseltyzing. Members of Refilwe also relocated to this land, renovated the grounds and the buildings, and started several market farming projects to generate funds and become independent of help from others. The Sandton Rotary Club helped establish and equip an orphanage, a pre-primary school, a primary school, and a high school. Most of the staff and students live onsite and help with the food gardens, maintenance, and upkeep of the place. The club filled in an olympic-size pool and converted it into a gymnasium that doubles as an assembly hall and a location for high school students to receive vocational guidance from club members and community leaders. Furthermore, with the help of an RI grant, they upgraded services including roads, sewers, water, electricity, etc. For more information on this project, please visit:
ImageHow does one describe a man who sacrifices everything he owns to help those in dire need? The only term that comes to mind is "Angel". That is indeed what Pastor Shedrick is. An ordained minister by vocation, he answered the call to service through action. He sold all he owned and moved with his wife and mother-in-law into the Dellville shanty town in Germiston, a suburb of Johannesburg, where he used the money he garnered from his sale to renovate a corner and some structures across the "street" [if you can call a mud road with an open sewer running through the middle that] without any training in masonry, carpentry, or other skills. Thus, he established the Rose of Hope Care Centre where he currently houses and takes care of over 130 orphans, many of whom have HIV/AIDS or other illnesses. He ensures that they all get their medicines through government programs. Further, he hires himself out to earn money which he then uses to finance the center. Although not a Rotarian himself, he is the epitome of what Rotary is all about.

ImageThe Rotary Club of Johannesburg East, a club of only 11 members, has taken this incredible centre as their project. The club helps Pastor Shedrick obtain food, clothing, sanitation and other needs. Children who were emaciated are now thriving, happy, laughing, going to school, and because of the efforts of the pastor and the RC, they have hope for a better future. Recently, Rtn. Silvio Di Stefano [seen here on the right, with Pastor Shedrick on the left and President Amanda Botha in the middle] obtained a food supplement that he is helping to provide that has made a tremendous difference in the health of the children. For more information on this project please visit:

You can view additional pictures from this visit via a link in the Photo Journals section below right.



Kevin Sullivan is a 2nd year honors student, at the top of his class. He is an outstanding young man who continually strives for excellence in everything he does. His work is of the finest quality, well beyond his years. A classroom leader, Kevin regularly demonstrates patience, fair-mindedness, preparation, and respect. He is a model of our school's PBIS expectations. Kevin is also an active member of our school community, working with such groups as Student Council, Interact, Kaleidoscope, the Art Club, and the Drama Club. And he fences! This dedication to our school and local community, and broad range of interests, is impressive. In a very short period of time, Kevin Sullivan has made a significant name for himself at NBHS.  He is rightly respected by peers and faculty alike. He is seen here holding his certificate flanked by President Bob Hull and President-Elect Mary Lou Gargiulo, with his proud parents on the left and the Principal and Vice Principal of NBHS on the right.

Image ImageImageOn his recent visit to South Africa, club member Mukund Nori exchanged club flags with Rtn. Graham Katzellenbogen (on right in far left picture) of the Sandton Rotary Club and Rtn. Amanda Botha (on left in middle picture) President of the Rotary Club of Johannesburg East. In the picture on the right, he is delivering the club flags he received to President Bob Hull (on right).


The second project of the Sandton Rotary Club that Rtn. Graham Katzellenbogen took me to was the Itsoseng Clinic. Itsoseng is a shanty town in Johannesburg and like most other such informal settlements, the living conditions are squalid, with no running water and minimal sanitation facilities. The incidence of HIV/AIDS is high. In partnership with and donations from other RCs in Texas and UK, the Sandton RC established a foothold in this place using modified containers as clinics and treatment centers. The healthcare professionals volunteer their time and expertise to those living in Itsoseng and any others who show up - nobody is turned away. The Sandton RC also provides a makeshift library in one of the converted containers with books donated in honor of each invited speaker to the club.

Image In addition, the club converted one of the containers into a Kids Club for children ages 3-17 years. Several orphans are sponsored fully by the club's Education Fund and individual members so that they may get an education and better their lives. This is truly investing in the future of the country. For more information on this project, please visit:

You can view more pictures from this visit via a link in the Photo Journals section below right.
ImageSanta Claus and Mrs. Claus were sighted in North Branford. After landing his sleigh at an undisclosed location, Santa arrived at the North Branford Firehouse 1 in a firetruck with sirens blaring and lights flashing. He led the waiting families in a chorus of Jingle Bells accompanied most wonderfully by the North Branford High School Choir. Santa then officiated over the official Christmas Tree lighting. Every child, and some adults, who came by had their photo taken with Santa sponsored by the North Branford Rotary Club. For more pictures on the event please access the link under Photo Journals below right.
ImageThe North Branford Chamber of Commerce awarded Rtn. Mike Bergantino with the Wentworth Award for outstanding lifelong service to the town and to the betterment of communities worldwide. In his acceptance speech, Rtn. Mike graciously credited Rotary and his membership in the club for his achievements. He is seen here receiving his award from Mayor Candelora (on left).
ImageAlexandra Stowe (second from left) was recognized as the NBRC Student of the Month for November. Alexandra, daughter of William and Elizabeth Stowe, was nominated and selected by the Science Department of the North Branford High School. She is a senior at North Branford High School. In addition to being a four year starter on the varsity soccer team, she has also been on the track and field team for two years. After becoming interested in biology in her sophomore year, she went to a woman engineering conference as a junior and decided that she would like to study biomedical engineernig in the future. With this is mind, Alexandra was given an opportunity this past summer to be a student assistant to a brilliant doctor at Yale Medical School. While in the laboratory, she gained incredible experience with new technologies and an understanding of lab procedures and common experiments.  Her time at Yale will be used as her Independent Performance Project which she will complete in January. She is pictured here with President Bob Hull (far right), Principal Todd Stoeffler (second from right), and President-Elect Mary Lou Gargiulo (far left).

Club member Mukund Nori (right) is seen receiving a pin and a crystal from Club Foundation Chair Dick Aitro (left) for achieving the status of Major Donor, i.e., he has cumulatively donated $10,000 to the Rotary Foundation and its programs. He recognized Mike Bergantino and Ed Pikaart, two other club members who are Major Donors, as his role models and thanked the club for its support.

ImageDr. James joined the club for our annual holiday fellowship dinner and spoke to us about the economic crisis facing our country and offered a solution. He has recently published a book on this topic: The Monetarists and The Evolving Crisis: Wake Up Americans; We Are Losing Our Great Nation. This book is available through various outlets including Amazon: You can read his 3-part interview on his distinguished life in the North Branford Patch at:



 North Branford Rotarians enjoyed an evening hosting the Seniors at their annual picnic.



 Luisa Breen –Director of Social Services talked about the  needs of North Branford citizens





 Hannah  Hummel, Rotary International Ambassadorial  Scholar from Germany, is attending Yale and is being sponsored by the North  Branford Rotary club

Meeting notes are in this bulletin!  Let me know what you think! 



Mukund Nori talked about The Advanced Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (A/RYLA) program. He explained that it is an intensive training program that brings together youth and young adults, ages 14-30,   to  further develop character and leadership skills and learn about Rotary. A/RYLA  often take the form of a seminar, camp, or workshop, generally 3-10 days inlength, organized by Rotarians at the club, district, or multidistrict level. Thebasic RYLS is geared to high school students. Chris Fraenza  talked about his experience with the advance  RYLA (adults out of high school)program. Our club sponsored Chris on a 4 ½  day Advanced RYLA program in Norwalk.

     “The Monetarists and the Evolving Crisis: Wake Up, Americans; We Are Losing Our Great Nation” by William H. James, Ph.D      

BUILD, STRENGTHEN, AND IMPROVE BOTH THE NATION AND MANY LIVES. The nation should be strong, independent and free; it’s relative strategic power should be increasing; the lives of people should be improving; and the nation should have a strong, vigorous and well coordinated political, economic, and geopolitical program for achieving these purposes and serving both the nation and the people. It appears that neither of the nation’s two major political parties now has this type of program. The following book review suggests that I have some worthy recommendations. Also, see my website and read my book.




Cheryl Smith stated that," The Children’s Center ofHamden”  is Connecticut’s oldest charteredprivate child-caring agency and was founded in 1833 as "The New HavenOrphan Asylum.  The children they servestruggle with serious emotional, behavioral psychological and social problems,such as physical and/or sexual abuse; psychiatric illness; learningdisabilities; substance abuse; and family trauma. On a daily average over 170children and families receive services through at least one of their programs.

 The Children’s Centerof Hamden has a staff of 240, with the majority falling into these categories:child care workers, therapists, and teachers.

 Referrals come from avariety of sources, including the Department of Children and Families (DCF),other social service agencies, psychiatric hospitals, local boards ofeducation, juvenile justice agencies, and parents.


 Their funding comesfrom The Department of Children and Families (DCF), tuition from local schoolsystems, State Medicaid fee for services, State and Federal grants, ManagedCare/Health Insurance and contributions from individuals, business andfoundations.

She stated that they have not had increases in funding forseveral years which has made it difficult to meet the needs of their clients. 

The club had an induction of two new members at it's 9/26th meeting. They were Marcella Ardine and Bill Choti. Paul Burns and Mukund Nori performed the induction. 



Chris Ekert from the UI talked about Strategies to reduce your electricity costs. He also talked about the Energy Efficiency Fund.





Marilyn Lowney talked about the Haitian Health Foundation that her father founded. The foundation feeds, educates, and provides health  care and relief for the poor in Haiti. They help  230,000 people at a yearly cost  of  $4 million dollars. They are able to do this for this amount, because they only have a 9% overhead.


The club had an induction of a new members at it's 10/31 meeting. It was Susan Diaz and Mukund Nori performed the induction. 


Paul Spiekermann, M.D., talked about malaria and dengue  fever in Indonesia and what Rotary is doing to prevent it.


Hannah Hummel is from Dusseldorf, Germany and talked about her experiences since she came to the US two months ago.



She is studying at Yale School of Arts and is advancing her artistic way of thinking. Her host club is the North Branford Rotary Club.  

Rotary had it's annual tree lighting at Company 2, firehouse










Maggie Vergati was named student of the month for English. She is a sophomore at North Branford High School and the  class president for 2015




Ray,                    Maggie       Janice        Mary Lou  



Samuel Brown spoke about Project Amigo. 

This is an organization that has partnered with the ColimaRotary club to improve the lives of the Mexican children that live in ColimaMexico.

They offer the following programs:

·        Dental, vision & hearing

·        They distribute books to schools, libraries, andgroup homes

·        They host outings, Christmas parties, trips tothe state fair and museums

·        They provide scholarships

Samuel also spoke about Rotary E-Clubs






On February 27th, the North Branford Rotary club sponsored the NBIS Interact Club and  presented  a charter, gavel, pins and a banner to the club and their members.

At the event, Mary Lou Gargiulo welcomed everyone; AllanDavis spoke about how happy he is to have the new club; Joan Williams andDanielle Ducharme shared the club’s latest fundraiser.

Also present and spoke about Rotary were Alan Hurst, GJustin, Allyson Clark and Paul Burns




L. Todd Wood a helicopter pilot for Seal Team 6 and Delta 4  talked about his experiences during the Afghan war. He also worked on Wall  Street for 18 years selling bonds. His experience helped him write a historical  fiction book called” Currency”.  He talked  about the problems that this massive spending/ debt will cause, for the future  of our country  



 Megan Marcucci- Social Studies


 The Social Studies dept. nominates Megan Marcucci for the Rotary Youth award.


Megan consistently performs well in Honors and College prep courses.  She mentors young people at a dance studio after school. She works well with others during group activities in the classroom, often model positive behavior while assuming leadership roles.


 Alex Raffone is the Rotary Student of the Month representing the North Branford High School Mathematics' Department. 



 Alex has taken mathematics courses focusing on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus and calculus. He is among the highest achieving students in this year's Calculus Honors course.  Over the past four years Alex has grown as a student and North  Branford community member.  Alex's ability to reason logically, think abstractly, and connect conceptual and procedural  knowledge instinctively have made him shine among his peers.

His abilities to break complicated concepts and tasks into manageable units and connect mathematics to other disciplines and students' lives contribute to the success of his class and his peers. Alex also contributes to the NBHS community as  the captain of the NBHS Soccer Team and as a member of both the indoor and outdoor track teams.  Most recently, as a member of the NBHS Indoor Track Team, Alex and his teammates placed 6th regionally and 24th nationally in the 4x400 relay. In addition to all of his academic work and school related extra-curricular activities,  Alex is an active member of his church community and volunteers regularly. Alex intends to use all of his knowledge, skills and experience at Sacred Heart University next year as a computer programming/design major.

John Holland, LCSW, PhD works with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the State of Connecticut in the Young Adult Services division.  The YAS Program services youth between 18-25 who are exiting foster homes, group homes and residential treatment facilities with serious mental illnesses.  Their goal is to prevent these youth from becoming homeless and to try and keep them out of prison.  The teach skills to help in becoming a successful adult.  They are often victims of abuse and neglect and suffer from PTSD.  The program has been in operation for 10 years and services youth statewide.  There are approximately 1500 youth in the program.  90% of the youth live in apartments in the community, some others in group homes and some with their families.
Taste of Italy Auction 2013
Friday, November 8th, 2013
At 7:00 PM
29 Schoolground Road, Branford, CT
Tickets $40.00 per person
Includes hors d’oeuvres and a buffet dinner
Featuring Chef Silvio
North Branford Rotary
22nd Annual Community Fund Raiser
A Taste of Italy
Featuring Chef Silvio
Chef Silvio Suppa and Italian Historian, Anthony Riccio, will take you on a picturesque guided tour of the rich culinary history of southern Italy.
They'll discuss recipes from generations passed using foods to promote great health along with a cultural and social history of a region told through its cuisine.
Presentation and Book Signing, Wine Tasting
& Silent Auction
Wine tasting provided by Absolute Liquor
The student chosen for the Rotary Youth of the Month Award is Marc Fillion. For Business.Mark has taken both Consumer Economics and CWE and has given his all to be successful and add value to both courses.  During the most recent course of CWE, Mark stepped up with some encouragement from his teacher, Phil Palma, to be a project leader for the Apprentice project.  This is something he was reluctant to do because of his shyness, however with some encouragement from Mr. Palma and his peers, he completed the task in an exemplary way! 
The World Language Department has voted TJ McMahon as their choice for Rotary Student of the Month.  TJ is currently taking Spanish IV Honors and is also focusing on his second Independent Performance Project as a teacher's aide for Ms. Ducharme's Spanish classes at NBIS.  TJ independently worked over the past summer to teach himself new content and grammar prior to formal instruction this year.  He is eager in class, energetic, a great participator and alway goes above and beyond in his classwork and projects.  He speaks consistently in the target language in his Spanish class, when he sees any Spanish teacher in the hallway and when he emails them concerning school work and/or his IPP.  TJ will be an asset to the Spanish Language & Culture Advanced Placement class next year.
The North Branford Rotary Club recently honored two students for the Month of March. Student Samantha Stowe was chosen by the Social Studies department. Samantha is a well-rounded student who excels in many subjects, especially social studies. She also plays sports and has a part time job. Teachers and students regard Samantha as a school leader. She is a good role model for younger students.
Zachary Augur was chose by the Mathematics department for student of the month. Zach is currently enrolled in Advanced Placement Calculus where he consistently excels in his studies. His mathematical aptitude, work ethic and efforts in class are outstanding. Zach is a contributing member of the NBHS community. He is the president of the senior class and is a member of Helping Hands, the Environmental Club, and the Indoor/Outdoor Track team. Zach looks forward to going away to college next year where he intends to major in biology and minor in mathematics. 
Fund Raiser Shred It Event
North Branford Town Hall on May 17, 2014
On Saturday May 17th from 9-12  the North Branford Rotary will be holding a "Shred-It" event at the North Branford Town Hall at Rte 80 & Rte 22 . You may bring bags or boxes of paper to shred. The cost will be $10 per bag or box, not to exceed 30lbs each. For details call Frank Popolizio 203-915-7089.
Funds have been used to help support projects in Our Community and Internationally. “Clothes for Kids”, Polio Eradication, Clean Water Projects, disaster relief with Shelter Box, Scholarships, Exchange Students, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership program, Xmas Tree Lighting, Easter Egg Hunt, our Library,
 Amber Alert, Senior Dinner and more.
North Branford Rotary members had a blast tonight serving hot dogs, burgers, water melon and cake to over one hundred North Branford seniors. Beautiful evening, great music, great food and a lot of smiling faces. Join us at our next service day! Visit our Photo Journals Section of this website for more photographs of the day.
At DG Mukund's Kick off Meeting of Area 8 NBRC inducted its newest member Janet Ciszek.  Please visit our photo journal library for event photos.
Thank you to all who bought tickets, stopped by our tent to wish us well and supported our efforts to raise fund for better communities at home and around the world.
Dr. William H. "Bill" James, age 104, of North Branford, CT died peacefully on August 19, 2014.  Bill was blessed with a long life, good health, and had a strong work ethic.  He was a source of inspiration, encouragement, and knowledge. He lived life serving to make this world a better place and to help others around him.  He was a North Branford Rotary Club Member and a special friend, who will be missed by all.
Student of the Month – October
The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to present its Student of the Month Award for October to Alexis Allen, of the North Branford High School.  Congratulations, Alexis!!
Alexia Allen is an active member in almost every musical setting at North Branford High School. She is the Principal Alto Saxophone player in Concert Band, Pep Band, Honors Jazz Band and Honors Wind Ensemble, and is a strong vocalist in Concert Choir and Honors Chamber Choir. Alexia held Second Chair in the 2014 Shoreline Music Festival, and plans on auditioning for the Southern Region Music Festival next month. Alexia is also enrolled in A.P. Music Theory and hopes to earn college music credit thought this course.
In addition to her music classes, Alexia is a member of the singer/songwriter club, Crescendo, and has been published in the school literary magazine, Kaleidoscope. She has participated in a variety of GSA events, including the True Colors Convention at the University of Connecticut. Last spring, Alexia participated in the Anti-Defamation League's “Names Can Really Hurt Us” presentation, promoting a more tolerant and diverse culture at NBHS.
The NBHS Music Department is proud to nominate Alexia Allen to receive the Rotary Club's Youth of the Month Award for Music.
The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to present its Student of the Month Award for November to Nancy Bush, of the North Branford High School.  Congratulations, Nancy!!
Nancy has excelled academically in her Science courses at North Branford High School. She has taken General Science Honors, Biology Honors, Chemistry Honors and AP Environmental Science. She is currently enrolled in AP Biology and AP Physics and is a member of the Environmental Science Club. Her Science teachers have described Nancy as an intrinsically motivated student with a high-level of self-discipline and metacognitive skills. She enriches her classroom environment by actively contributing to discussions. Nancy also consistently demonstrates leadership skills during activities and laboratories through her drive to succeed as well as her kindness and willingness to help other students in her classes. Nancy is a role model to her peers, as her passion in learning is clearly evident and her positivity is infectious to those around her.
A morning of shopping and over $4000 spent helping over 120 town's kids. Warm coats, hats, gloves, and other clothes were purchased. THANK YOU to supporters of our club for all the contributions. 
It was a warm coco, cookies and Santa kind of evening. Santa arrived on a red fire truck, Christmas tree was lit and everyone enjoyed a little bit of holiday cheer. More photos can be found HERE!

On Wednesday January 7th District Governor Mukund's father, Shri Nori Panduranga Vithal, passed away after bravely battling a prolonged illness.
Shri Nori Panduranga Vithal, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (retired) was a consummate champion of education, especially of orphans, a cause he espoused with passion during his retirement at the Bhagwan Sathya Sai Baba's Ashram in Puttaparthi. He enjoyed and experienced life to the fullest with a penchant for all things sweet. He is survived by his loving wife, Kusuma Nori née Gunturi, his children, Mukund, Annapurna, and Srinivas, his daughters-in-law, Urszula and Laima, and his grandchildren, Rahul Vithal Thyagarajan, Nikhil Vivek Thyagarajan, Anna Maya Nori, Natasha Helena Nori, and Varun Thyagarajan. He is mourned by his family and friends.
Please keep DG Mukund and Laima Nori as well as their entire family in your thoughts and prayers.
Mukund's Rotary journey began with his father and his family requests donations to the Rotary Foundation in lieu of flowers.
Rick Bassett
D7980 Vice Governor
The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to present its Student of the Month Award for January to Katie Stevens of the North Branford High School.  The English Department selected Katie as Student of the Month in English because she has shown tremendous growth over the past four years in English.  In ninth grade, Katie was in a college-prep class; in tenth grade, she moved up to Honors; and, by the eleventh and twelfth grades, she was in Advanced Placement (AP).  In all courses, Katie achieved an overall “A” average.  Katie’s incredible work ethic and desire to improve and grow exemplifies our core values.  In addition to excelling in the classroom, she captained the Girls' Soccer team and participates in sports year round.  Katie is a model student inside and outside of the classroom.  Congratulations, Katie!!
The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to present its Student of the Month Award for December to Sean Halligan of the North Branford High School (NBHS).  As the Student of the Month in Business, Sean is a student who has completed three business classes with great success. Sean takes his academics very seriously and comes to class prepared to learn. An example of this is how he listens carefully and asks clarifying questions, so he can be successful in everything he does. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Sean also participates in sports and had an opportunity to attend the CT State Police Academy for one week, in pursuit of a career in criminal justice. For these reasons, the NBHS is proud to recommend Sean as the Student of the Month in Business for recognition by the North Branford Rotary Club.  Congratulations, Sean!!
The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to present its Student of the Month Award for February to Crystal Zurolo of the North Branford High School.  Crystal, who was nominated by the World Language Department, is currently a student in the Latin I and Italian III Honors classes.  She has also studied French in the North Branford School system beginning in 8th grade until last year as a junior in French IV Honors.  During her high school career, Crystal has studied three out of the four languages offered at NBHS.  She is also enrolled in the Independent Performance Project where she is offering her assistance and time at the Library at Jerome Harrison Elementary School.  Crystal is fair minded, tolerant, unique, mature and her ‘own person’.  She is a leader and is often the student to whom her friends turn to in order to calm a situation.  Crystal is able to balance many extracurricular activities and is a leader in GSA and also has a part-time job.
Congratulations, Crystal!!

Come for an Easter Egg Hunt March 28th!

The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to present its Student of the Month Award for March to Carly Mastriano of the North Branford High School (NBHS).  Carly, who was chosen by the Mathematics Department, is currently enrolled in Advanced Placement Calculus where she consistently excels in her studies. Her mathematical aptitude, work ethic, and leadership qualities in class are outstanding.  Carly is a contributing member of the NBHS community. She competes on the Cheerleading and Ultimate Frisbee teams and is an active participant in Drama Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, National Honor Society, Model UN, and Kaleidoscope Literary Magazine. Carly looks forward to attending college next year where she intends to major in chemistry.
Congratulations, Carly!!
Come join the North Branford Rotary Club on Saturday, June 13, 2015, for its annual Shred-It event, at the North Branford Town Hall (Route 80 & 22), 909 Foxon Road, in North Branford.  Bring your shreddable items and see them go down the giant shredder right in front of your eyes!  $10/bankers box.  The truck will be on site from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  It is not necessary to be a North Branford resident... the public is welcomed to participate!
The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to present its Student of the Month Award to Brian McKee of the North Branford High School (NBHS).  Brian is a sophomore, who is currently taking PE 10 and Health 10 courses.  Brian is a polite, humble and cooperative student, who has an amazing work ethic and always goes above and beyond in all that he does in both classes. Brian motivates his classmates and gets them involved in cooperative games and sports.  He is a competitive player but is respectful of his classmates at the same time; he plays for the good of his team and not his own gain.  Brian is a quiet leader and is subtle.  His classmates respect him and so do his teachers.  For these reasons, the NBHS is proud to recommend Brian McKee, as Student of the Month for recognition by the North Branford Rotary Club.  Congratulations, Brian!!
The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to present its Student of the Month Award to Marcello Avallone of the North Branford High School (NBHS).  Marcello is an empathetic, diligent, and self-driven student, who takes pride in doing well at school and does not hesitate to seek out the support services that he deserves while at the same time challenging himself academically.  Marcello has the additional advantage of a very loving and supportive family as well. Marcello takes his family responsibilities very seriously, often caring for his younger sibling. At the same time he holds down a part time job at the local supermarket while maintaining his academic work load at school. At school, he continues to be a role model for other students through his work ethic and daily interactions with both adults and peers. He has taken a very active role in NBHS’s greenhouse program. The supervisor has come to rely on him when completing projects for his hands-on work as well as his knowledge of the greenhouse program. As a result, he has discovered the importance of teamwork.  When involved in group work in the classroom, Marcello takes on the role as a team leader. Others look up to him for his knowledge and direction. Marcello has a way of making everyone feel important; accepting everyone for their differences. Marcello is particularly sensitive to the needs of some of our more impaired students. He goes out of his way to make them feel a part of our everyday activities and school community. Marcello has always been his “own person,” quietly leaving his mark on the world, especially with those that are closest to him and are lucky enough to call him friend. Spending any time with Marcello is a pleasure. Marcello exemplifies the North Branford School District’s mission of a “caring community.”  For these reasons, the NBHS is proud to recommend Marcello Avallone, as Student of the Month for recognition by the North Branford Rotary Club.  Congratulations, Marcello!!
The North Branford Rotary Club will not be meeting at Nataz Restaurant on Wednesday, June 3rd.  Instead, the North Branford Rotary Club will be hosting a membership event on Wed., June 3rd, at the Gouveia Vineyards, 1339 Whirlwind Hill Road, in Wallingford, from 6-8 p.m. Potential members or inactive members are invited, encouraged, and welcomed to attend. Members are asked to bring an appetizer, snack or any treat to share with the group.
The North Branford Rotary Club's Installation of Officers was held on Saturday, June 27th.  The Club thanked Immediate Past President Paul Burns for all the past year's accomplishments and welcomed our new President Susan Visken-Diaz!!  Carol Small and Janet Ciszek received Paul Harris Fellow awards.  The Club celebrated in "Hawaiian" fashion and a good time was enjoyed by all!
NOTE:  Due to the rainy weather forecast, the North Branford Annual Senior Picnic will be held INSIDE at the Stanley T. Williams (STW) Community Center, 1332 Middletown Avenue, Northford, CT   06472.  Buffet serving will begin at 6:00 p.m.
The North Branford Rotary Club will not be meeting at Nataz Restaurant on Wednesday, October 21st. Instead, the North Branford Rotary Club will be holding their meeting at the Parthenon Diner/Restaurant, 374 East Main Street, in Branford, beginning at 6 p.m.  The meeting location, for this meeting only, was rescheduled in order to accommodate all Club members and others wishing to attend.
After annual Spooktacular fundraiser, NBRC went shopping.
About 120 local kids in need will get warm coats, hats, sweaters, socks, gloves and shirts...
Thank you to all who support our club! YOU make a real difference in kids' lives! 
Thank you to our Sponsors for their generous support... the North Branford Rotary Club is extremely grateful for their help in making this year's 2016 community fundraiser so "Spooktacular!"
Guilford Savings Bank, Aquatic Pool & Spa Service Inc., John's Refuse Recycling LLC, Oak Street Bookkeeping LLC, Country House Restaurant, Esposito Brokerage LLC, Gargiulo Brothers Oil Co. Inc., Webster Bank, State Canteen-CT Coffee & Commissary, Bobby Moniello Insulators, Village Wine & Spirits, MJ McCabe Garden Design, Sanitrol Septic Services LLC, Walt's Auto Repair Inc., Total Interiors LLC. All Waste, Inc., Cherry Hill Construction Inc., Absolute Liquors, Totoket Times, Tom King Masonry, East Haven Stoners, Marcus Law Firm, Leoni's Italian Deli LLC, Keenan Funeral Home, and Envision Pharma, Inc.
Easter Egg Hunt for children of North Branford.
Date:          Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time:         10:15 AM
Location:    Connecticut Sportsplex, 216 Foxon Road, North Branford, CT 06471
Parents are requested to bring non-perishable food items to benefit the North Branford Food Pantry.
Emmy Norton for excellence in Science, Julia DeWitt for excellence in Social Studies and Bayley Fair for excellence in Art were honored at the Rotary's Student of the Month Awards Dinner on Oct. 18, 2017
The North Branford Rotary Club is pleased to recognize this quarter’s Students of the Month. The recipients were celebrated  at a recent dinner at Nataz.  The students who were recognized  are Christopher Candelora for his talents in Math, Lydia Mattson for English and Jonathon Buckley for Music. Each student was the recipient of an award  certificate and monetary gift. We look forward to seeing them in a successful future and thank them for their hard work . Please visit for more information.
Photo:  Club President Maureen Hughes , Lydia Mattson with  parents Dana and Ronald, Jonathan Buckley with  parents Patricia and Thomas, and  Christopher Candelora with  parents Vinny and Caroline,  RY Chairperson, Diane Popolizio. 
North Branford Rotary is at it again! 
A brand new community project is on its way.  Please contact Frank Popolizio at  for info and to help get this project started. Frank and chairpeople Maureen Huges and Melinda Fonda will be meeting with town department heads to finalize and plan for a Splash Pad at our Community Center. The North Branford Rotary is encouraging other organizations and residents to participate. We will be seeking donations of goods and services, supplies, assistance with promotion and fund raising and would  love to hear your ideas. Looking forward to having additional details to share soon. Contact Frank to have your info added to his list for updates.
Declutter your home and office!
Get rid of old documents!
Create more space!
Spark more joy with less stress!
Saturday, October 5, 2019
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
North Branford Town Hall
909 Foxon Rd., North Branford
$10/banker's box
Come join the North Branford Rotary Club for its 28th Annual Community Fundraiser
Spooktacular 2019 - Friday October 25th
Seasons, 990 Foxon Road, East Haven, CT
$65pp or $600 for a table of 10 - featuring full buffet dinner, open bar, dancing, costume contest and raffle/auction items
Help support our community outreach efforts that benefit North Branford students, seniors, and family community events such as Christmas Tree Lighting and Easter Egg Hunt and our global initiatives that help bring safe drinking water and medical services to communities that would otherwise not have access 
Spooktacular Costume Ball 2019
28th Annual Fundraiser
Join us this Friday, October 25th
Seasons Banquet Facility
990 Foxon Rd., East Haven, CT
$65 pp buffet dinner, open bar