Club Newsletter
The Rotary Club of Wakefield, Rhode Island
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Place & Time:
Arturo Joe's
140 Point Judith Road, Narragansett, RI  02882
Meeting Thursday @ Noon
Meeting called to order President Tom Tarzwell   
Time    12:20
Pledge and 4-way test:         President Tom
Prayer:                        Herb Mansfield
Song: “God Bless America”
Kate O’Malley, representing Africa Unite; Allison Tarzwell, daughter of Tom
Posted by Gene Corl & Glen Zibolis
Number of members present:   30 
Visiting Rotarians:   0
Number of guests:   3 
When paying with a Credit Card, fees approach $1 per transaction, Cash is preferred.
Club Business
The officers for next year have been selected.
They are:
  • President Bob Cruz
  • President Elect Jay Shartenberg
  • Vice President Glen Zibolis
  • Treasurer Tom Tarzwell
  • Assistant Treasurer Ben Bardo
  • Secretary Judy Fortier
  • Assistant Secretary Lynn Wagner
  • Sergeant at Arms Bill Cloxton
  • Assistant Sergeant at Arms Donna Vignali
  • Club Services Director Russell Bertrand
  • Community Service Director Beth Leconte
  • International Service Director Bob Horrocks
  • Vocational Service Director Spencer Seitz
  • New Generation Director Scott Andrews
The induction of the new officers will be held on June 13 at Spain Restaurant. Save the date!
The Club presented a check for $2400 to Africa Unite for support of its leadership camp. Africa Unite is a human rights organization in Capetown, South Africa, that empowers young people.
Russell Bertrand installed Peter Swain as a new member, sponsored by Jim Blackerby. Welcome, Peter!
May 27 is the date of the Memorial Day parade. Join in and show the club colors.
Immediately after the next meeting (May 16) a group of Rotarians will clean up the Rotary Garden along the Memorial Day Parade route in downtown Wakefield. If you want to join in, please let Tom know. All materials and tools will be on site. Please dress for the occasion. Six or seven volunteers would be great . We should be done in about an hour.
Tuesday’s Fundraising meeting will be at Tom’s office, 490 Woodruff Ave., not at Easter Seals.
Beth Leconte is coordinating the club participation in the Vet Surf program on June 8. Opportunities are available from 6:30 AM to 12:00 noon. Volunteers are needed to hand out towels and water bottles, check in participants, set up and tear down. You can register at If you plan to volunteer, email Beth ( so she will know how many Rotary shirts to bring.
Add a contribution to the Little Red Schoolhouse for Alzheimer’s research. We need only $300 to meet our goal.
New fundraising event: on October 20 the club will launch a new signature event, “the Pumpkin Plunge,” at the North Beach Clubhouse. Save the date; details to follow.
  • Please donate to the Rotary Foundation to support international projects and grants to local clubs. The club goal is to reach an average of $100 per member. Checks should be made payable to Rotary Foundation and sent to Tom.
    Mark your calendar: Bob Cruz’s installation dinner is June 13 at Spain of Narragansett and the Club Christmas party is on December 19, also at Spain.
The upcoming Art Festival is already receiving reservations from participating artists. If you are interested in serving on the committee for the festival, please see Sandy Cutting.
Thank you for your service above self!
Sunshine (Elizabeth): Club anniversary: Jim Blackerby; birthdays: Sandy Cutting, Valerie Szlatenyi, Judy Fortier, Chris Van Hemelrijck; Herb also noted that former member and club president Dr. Jack Walsh passed away recently.
Happy Bucks
  • Bill Cloxton is happy to be back after a bout of pancreatitis that landed him in the hospital
  • Linda Hennessey is happy that Jim Blackerby showed up for Peter Swain’s installation
  • Betsy Wisehart apologizes for missing a meeting because of a trip to the Land of the Ancients (Florida)
  • Ed McLaughlin missed meetings due to travel
  • Jim Buchanan also apologizes for being absent
  • Sandy Cutting is happy that the Art Festival is doing well; see her about volunteering
  • Dennis McLeavey is getting over his grief about the Maple Leafs
  • Lynn Wagner is inviting everyone to the World War II Museum in Wakefield on Saturday, May 25 as guests of Bank Newport; email Lynn if you want to go
  • Elizabeth Candas has been chosen by the DAR to participate in the Naval Academy commencement ceremonies
Speaker and Program: Donna Vignali, classification speech, introduced by Val Szlatenyi
Donna grew up in Waterbury, Connecticut and received her bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Central Connecticut State University. She began teaching in the Waterbury public schools and for 11 years taught art in the middle and high school. After taking courses in photography and other media, she received a master’s degree and became a Library Media Specialist, a post she held for the next 24 years. She said the library was a good place to understand Waterbury’s students, nearly all of whom came from low-income families and often did not have support at home. She felt a different level of bonding from the regular classroom, and she thought that she could help the kids more in the library position.
The position of Library Media Specialist brought Donna many opportunities, including serving as advisor to the Drama Club, which grew from a handful of students to over 90 participants. Another adventure was taking 50 students on a bus trip to Disney (which she did twice). She also was integrally involved in the planning and construction of the Arts Magnet School in Waterbury. In response to the intense political focus on testing, Donna became involved with the teachers’ union and was elected president of the Waterbury Teachers’ Association, allowing her to work with the Connecticut Educational Association on legislative issues.
Donna has two children, both of them with deep international experience. Her daughter, Alicia, worked in Guyana and married Orlando, who recently became a United States citizen. They have two children, Gianella, and Estelle and live in South County. Donna’s son, Mark, is married to Juan, of Chinese origin, and they have a son, Michael, born on Dec. 25 of last year. They live in Connecticut and both work for United Technologies. Since moving to RI, Donna has become involved with the Women’s Huddle and the South County Immigration Committee. She is also working part time at Sweenor’s making chocolate.
Donna said that she was interested in joining Rotary to find like-minded people who wanted to give back. She heard great things about the club and is happy to be of service to the community.
Next Meeting:  Thursday, May 16, 2019!
Many thanks to Nancy for reporting and Sandy for the photos!
Please make every effort to attend our next meeting!!!!!
Upcoming Events
Event Planning Committee
Easter Seals of Rhode Island
May 14, 2019 5:00 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
Easter Seals of Rhode Island
May 15, 2019 5:00 PM
Event Planning Committee
Easter Seals of Rhode Island
Jun 11, 2019 5:00 PM
Bob Cruz Instalation Dinner
Jun 13, 2019
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
Easter Seals of Rhode Island
Jun 19, 2019 5:00 PM
Wakefield Rotary 37th Narragansett Art Festival
At Veterans Park, Next to the historic "Towers"
Jun 21, 2019 5:00 PM –
Jun 23, 2019 5:00 PM
Event Planning Committee
Easter Seals of Rhode Island
Jul 09, 2019 5:00 PM
Bulletin Editor
Russell Bertrand
May 16, 2019
Izzy Foundation
May 23, 2019
Water & Sanitation Projects in Guatemala
May 30, 2019
Perspective on Russia
View entire list
Russell Hampton
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