Charlotte Shelburne Rotary Club
Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 7:30 a.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church Community Room

President Adam Bartsch led the Pledge and Kris Engstrom gave the devotional.


Coming events:

  • 4/12 – Charlotte Senior Center Volunteer Dinner where Charlotte Shelburne Rotary will be cooking, serving and cleaning up.
  • 6/6 – Celebrating Change – the annual Changing of the Guard for Charlotte Shelburne Rotary will be combined with the induction of Steve Dates as District Governor. The party will be at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms and it promises to be an evening of good food, interesting beverages (does that make you curious?) and honors for our new President and our new Governor. Mark your calendar.
  • 6/21 – Bowling for the Community – start thinking of the names you will ask Ric & Co. to send letters to, asking for support for this, our most impactful fund raiser of the year – and it could be bigger if everyone just gave Ric 10 names to contact. Jim Spadaccini, in Ric’s absence at the meeting, suggested that everyone make a list of the relatives, friends and neighbors in preparation for Ric asking for those lists. We want to raise $40,000 this year. Jim says we could do it.

Rotary meeting calendar:

  • 4/17 – Committee meetings
  • 4/24 – Daniel O’Neil from Ethan Allen Homestead
  • 5/1 – Michael Schirling of Burlington Police Department on current drug scene

David Cranmer reminded everyone that the spring production by Shelburne Players, Anne of Green Gables, will be on stage at Shelburne Town Center this weekend and next. Check their website for times and to reserve tickets. It’s going to be great – a big cast of talented youngsters and not-so-youngsters – all speaking and singing in Canadian!!
David also reported on the work of the town committee planning Shelburne’s 250th birthday celebration in August. We can be sure that Rotary will have a role to play in the festivities.

Sergeant at Arms

Richard Fox made the rounds, gathering happy fines:

  • Bill Root – scoot and happy and thanks to everyone who helped with parking at the Maple Open House
  • Fritz Horton – his son Andy has moved to South Burlington
  • Denny Bowen – happy
  • Trafton Crandall – happy about the Yankees
  • Alan Hathaway – happy
  • Tod Whitaker – spring in the air
  • Pat Sokolowski – missed a couple of meetings – celebrated a birthday
  • John Dupee – back from sailing in the south
  • George Schiavone – happy
  • Dave Jonah – happy
  • Michael Clapp – great sugaring season
  • Linda Gilbert – grandchildren’s soccer games – all great
  • David Cranmer – birds singing – it’s spring
  • Linda Barker – happy
  • Howard Seaver – it’s Spring
  • Roz Graham – the record year for sugaring at Shelburne Farms
  • Kris Engstrom – her grandson Max’s art on her walls

Lucky draw: With $336 in the pot, John Dupee’s number was drawn, but he chose the wrong card. Roll over.

Refugee Resettlement Program

Laurie Stavrand, Director of the Refugee Resettlement Program, which was founded in 1980, and responds to refugee crises all over the world, reaching out to people who have been displaced in their homelands by civil wars, oppressive governments and other human-made disasters. Refugee Resettlement is supported by the community, not the government.

The refugees have had to flee, leaving behind homes, work, and often members of their family, have lived for extended periods of time in refugee camps waiting for a country that will give them refuge. They are stateless and have no legal status, homeless and some have been in camps for 20 years.

Vermont takes 350 refugees a year, helps to find them a place to live, helps them with English lessons, works with them to find work that matches their skills, helping them to be self-sufficient. Currently many of the refugees coming to Vermont are from Bhutan, and others are from Burma. Refugees have also come from Congo, Somalia, Tibet, Iraq and other countries.

Laurie said that Refugee Resettlement welcomes volunteers and finds that they can be especially effective in family to family direct contact, helping them become familiar with our lifestyles, teaching them English and becoming their friends.

Typically the refugees are qualified for a Green Card after one year which makes it legal for them to work, and after five years they can apply to take the exam to become citizens.

The retention rate for these migrants into Chittenden County is the best in the country, a fact that Laurie attributes to the community connection and the fact that they feel safe here.