Club Newsletter
The Rotary Club of Wakefield,
Rhode Island
Thursday, 3/24 & 31/2022
Place & Time:
Virtual ZOOM Meeting
Meeting Thursday @ 7:15 AM

The Wheel March 24 & 31, 2022
Meeting at Camden’s Restaurant
March 24, 2022
Meeting at Camden’s Restaurant
Attendance: 19 members (5 on Zoom); 1 guest: Jessica Wong, guest of Nancy Kleniewski
President Glen Zibolis called the meeting to order at 7:30 AM.
  Pledge and 4-way Test led by Glen         
Invocation by Beth Leconte
        Song, “Yankee Doodle Dandy”
March 31, 2022
March 31 2022
Attendance: 20 members (3 on Zoom); 2 guests: Jesse Pugh, guest of Donna Vignali, and Jessica Wong, guest of Nancy Kleniewski
President Glen Zibolis called the meeting to order at 7:30 AM.
  Pledge and 4-way Test led by Glen         
Invocation by Tricia Driscoll
Song, “God Bless America”
Club Business and Announcements
  • Glen — Karen Bertrand had emergency surgery in North Carolina and is recovering nicely.
  • Margaret Johnson – The May 15 Children’s Festival program is set. Help is still needed for the following: Please volunteer!!
    • Set up food tent, bring grills, and cook
    • Get and assemble a sound system
    • Supply two pickup trucks for the day before and day of the event
    • Volunteers to staff the tables, scoop ice cream
    • A sign committee to make signs in advance of the event
    • Raffle organizer to fill and wrap gift baskets
  • Bob Cruz – has Rotary chocolate bars for sale.
  • 3/312022
  • Glen -- New membership proposal: Patricia Keefe, sponsored by Nancy Kleniewski.
  • Glen — There will be an impromptu board meeting after this meeting (5 minutes).
  • Beth Leconte – The sponsor levels for the May 15 Children’s Festival are $500, $250, and $100. If you identify a potential sponsor, please clear it with Beth before approaching them so we don’t duplicate “asks.” Also ask businesses to display the posters for the event. The request for a permit will be on the Narragansett Town Council agenda for Monday.
Wayne Everett, of 4030 Kingston Rd, Wakefield, whose classification is housing advocate, has been proposed for membership into our club by Paula Whitford.
Mr. Everett is from of HOUSE OF HOPE, a non-profit group serving the homeless in Warwick. He was
a recent guest speaker.
The club’s board of directors has approved the proposal for Mr. Everett’s membership. In accordance with the club's by-laws,  
his name is being published and announced to the general membership. If no written objection to the proposal, stating reasons, is received by the President of the Wakefield Rotary Club or any member of the Board of Directors from any member of the Club within ten days following this publication, he shall be considered eligible for membership.

Sunshine — Val Szlatenyi
Fines and Confessions Don and Betsy
  • Don had his shoulder replaced yesterday. Quiz: since she has known Don, how many surgeries has he had? (Answer: 16)
  • She fined the Zoom participants for not reciting the 4-way test with the group.
  • Missing badges, late fine. Anyone who hasn’t seen the movie “Rescued by Ruby” about the RI State police dog. Accent challenge: who can imitate different accents?
  • Public service announcement: The Flatts in Peace Dale is the place to go for Trivia Night.
Happy Bucks
  • Glen – Happy that the audio is working for the Zoomers.
  • Beth – OLLI is on the rebound after Covid, enrollments are up.
  • Dick Pike—Please stop taking pictures of your meals and sending them to him.
  • Jim Blackerby – Toured the new Jonnycake Center. We could have a meeting in their meeting room.
  • Betsy – Glad Don’s surgery went well.
  • Beth – Saw Gene Corl and he is interested in coming back to meetings.
  • Linda Hennessey – Talked to Lori Horton and Sandy Cutting and they are both doing better.
  • Donna Vignali – Saw Bill Cloxton and he is doing fine.
  • Geriatric bucks (references to our aliments)
  • Dick Pike – Karen Bertrand is recovering; she and Russell are on their way back to Rhode Island.
  • Glen – Has shoulder issues but is getting physical therapy.
  • Spencer Seitz – His wife loved “Rescued by Ruby.”
  • Sandy Willhauck – Going to see the cherry blossoms in DC.
  • Beth Leconte – has had back issues that kept her from attending two meetings.
  • Announcement that Gene Corl is improving.
  • Betsy Wisehart – Doesn’t everyone know that Advil is a vitamin?
  • Bob Cruz – Nellie Gorbea is visiting Wakefield on April 12. Also happy Jesse Pugh is here.
  • Dick Pike – told a joke.
  • Joanne Daly – had some health issues but is improving.
Speaker: Abel Collins of Sol Power, introduced by Jim Blackerby
Abel, a lifelong South Kingstown resident from a multigenerational South County family, described his business. Sol Power is a worker-owned co-op with 9 worker-owners and two more employees earning their equity to become owners. The firm does over 100 installations per year in RI and is also a full-service electrical contractor.
The solar power industry is currently competitive with about 3 dozen companies offering solar installations. One metric to consider is price per watt; $3 to $3.25 is a good price. Owning the panels is more cost-effective than leasing them. A homeowner can also store electricity in a battery and use it in case of an outage to power a subset of appliances for an extensive period of time.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:25.
Speaker: Mariann Almonte, Executive Director of the Courthouse Center for the Arts in West Kingston, introduced by Donna Vignali
The Courthouse Center for the Arts was founded by community members, including our own Linda Hennessey and her late husband. It was originally focused on theatrical performances and artistic exhibits. Marianne accepted the position of Executive Director on the condition that she could use the Center for programming that would meet the needs of “differently abled” children. The Center is 100% donor-supported and is working its way out of a financial hole from the past plus the negative impact of Covid. The concerts they sponsor do not make money but are a way to bring people into the building and educate them about the Center’s work.
Mariann’s passion is to advocate for children who are not meeting their full potential at school because they are different. They may be autistic, ADHD, or have some other learning issues that the schools are not addressing effectively, despite the laws that mandate appropriate treatment for them. The Courthouse Center offers classes in music, theater, and dance as a method of boosting the children’s cognitive skills and social well-being. Their goal is to change children’s lives, bring them out of their shells, and help them find strengths they never realized they had.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30.
Next Meeting:  Thursday April 3, 2022
Many thanks to the reporters and photographers!
Please make every effort to attend our next Wakefield Rotary meeting.
Better yet, bring a friend!
Upcoming Events
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