Posted by Bob Reed on Oct 11, 2017
Presiding:  Kathleen Stauffer
Invocation: Rodney Green
Fellowship: with Bob Farwell who told us why Peter the Great established a “Beard Tax.” Before Peter I, Russia wasn’t very connected with Europe, nor did it have a navy that could assert authority on its sea borders. Although Russia was huge it lagged behind in ships at a time when other European powers were exploring and colonizing the globe. Peter I played a crucial role in westernizing Russia by changing its economy, government, culture, and religious affairs. Peter I began the practice of beardlessness in quite a dramatic fashion at a reception held in his honor. He wanted to emulate the “modern” Western Europeans he met on his tour of Western Europe. As the Grand Embassy proved, Peter I was a do-it-yourself kind of ruler. He proceeded to personally shave the beards from his horrified guests, including commanders in his army and diplomats. He declared that all men in Russia lose their beards. Eventually the ruler’s stance softened since he figured he could raise money by allowing people to keep their beards if they paid a “Beard Tax.” Although many of Peter I’s reforms aren’t routinely recalled today, the beard tax has gone down as one of history’s quirkier moments. Humm… Maybe this can be the answer to our current budget crisis.
  • Paul Blanchard – 10/11
  • Keith Caplet – 10/15  
Rotarians with Guests:
  • Bonnie Hong brought Mannia Banos-Swain, Jenneily Bonilla & Aviana Mozano
  • Bonnie also introduced Jose Perez
  • Jim Daly hosted Mark Schola
Visiting Rotarians:
  • The Thanksgiving Challenge is still going on for the Liberty Bank match.
  • Amber Alerts: October 21st at the Real Life Expo at Mohegan Sun 10-2pm and on October 28th at Mohegan Park 7:30 to 10am. Contact Mike Matera if you can help out.
  • Next week’s meeting will take place at Shoeuniverse at 315 West Main Street in Norwich. Members will help Rodney sort and pack the coats. Rodney said this can be done in a couple hours with everyone’s help. Show up at 11:30am.
  • Club Assembly is on October 25th and will have a report from the Club Location Committee.
  • Reminder to give any speaker ideas to Mary Richardson and Kevin Wickless and they will follow up.
  • Rotary will be sponsoring 2 tables at the Madonna Place Trivial Pursuit Challenge on November 3rd. Let Nancy Gentes know if you are interested in participating.
Special Presentation: Bonnie Hong presented Manny Kadish with a painting of his likeness and informed him that his name is now on the Rotary Wall of Honor.
Happy Dollars: Hosted by Nancy Gentes:
Nancy Gentes started things off with $20.00 for the Thanksgiving Challenge and relayed a story of her grandson eating some berries out of the yard that were not poisonous thank God.
Laura Hobart gave $20.00 for the Thanksgiving Challenge.
Bill Champagne informed the club that a very positive meeting was held at City Hall revealing the plans for Uncas Leap.
Rodney Green received a $50.00 check in support of the coat project. He also gave to thank Manny Kadish for his good deeds and to welcome our speaker Becca Atkins.
Many Kadish gave $20.00 for the Thanksgiving Challenge and told a story of a friend who works out at his fitness center and looked like the picture of health but ended up getting stents in his arteries due to a poor diet.
Bonnie Hong gave $20.00 for the Thanksgiving Challenge and for Bob Farwell’s fellowship address.
Kathleen Stauffer Gave $20.00 for the Thanksgiving Challenge.
Kevin Wickless welcomed our guests.
Tom Adams gave 20.00 for the Thanksgiving Challenge.
  • Gary Young auctioned a gift certificate to Summit Fitness. Laura Hobart was the high bidder at $10.00. Gary also sold a bottle of table wine and tickets to a wine tasting. Mark Schiola was the high bidder at $35.00.
  • Bill Champagne sold a 1947 calendar of the NFA. Bonnie Hong walked away with it for $20.00.
  • Kathy Croteau auctioned a jar of honey from her bee farm. Bonnie Hong was the winner at $10.00.
Lottery  with Rich Pascal
  • Guest Mannia Bantos-Swain
  • Andy Nollman
  • Joel Etra drawing for Andy Grant
no winner.
President Kathleen Stauffer introduced Becca Atkins Executive Director of Artreach, Inc.  Artreach, Inc. provides uses the arts to promote recovery for adults with psychiatric disorders. Through community building that is inherent in working together on the common goal of any creative project, they rebuild lives. Artreach, Inc. believes that creativity heals. They are the home of "The Second Step Players," which is a comedy group that removes  stigmas from mental illness . Programs promote recovery, increase resiliency, and enhance the quality of life for members, who have psychiatric disorders.
President Kathleen Stauffer closed the meeting reciting the 4 Way Test.