Posted by Carrie Fenn on Sep 04, 2019

We were so fortunate to hear from Roz Graham this morning. She shared her history of family and service.



guests, Tom Graham, Pam Levin


Keith led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

We were so fortunate to hear from Roz Graham this morning. She shared her history of family and service. What a treat

Roz’s relationship with Rotary goes back to when she was a child and listened to stories of Rotary around the table- uncles, great uncles, cousins. Her father and grandfather had no Rotary stories to share- they were farmers, and farmers didn’t have time for that. Rotary was for nice shoes and clean shirts. Farmers had to be home to take care of the farm, and they wore overalls and work boots. There were also no stories from her mother or aunts because Rotary was for guys.

In 1988 Rotary decided to invite women. Ron Tatro invited Roz and a few others to a meeting and shared why they should join Rotary. Roz was intrigued, but meetings were at dinner time, and with a family she couldn’t do that. The time change to breakfast didn’t work for her either- she was busy getting kids ready for school and it didn’t fit into her job as publisher at the Shelburne News.

In April 2003, Roz was no longer publisher at the Shelburne News, and the idea of joining an organization so committed to service spoke to her. She joined with Carol Titus as her sponsor.

Being a rotarian for 16 years has been a valuable experience. She enjoyed being notetaker for many years, parking cars at winter fest, and getting more PR in the community.

Roz grew up on a farm near London, Ontario. More than half of the farm was expropriated to build the McDonald’s Highway. Her grandfather and father found another farm about 10 miles away from their original farm so they moved their operation. Roz was able to still attend the same high school, be involved in 4H and sing in the church choir. Her English teacher told her she should consider a career in journalism- she loved the idea but her father thought she should be a teacher, journalism wasn’t a career for a woman. Despite her father’s advice, Roz was fortunate to be able to jump in to a one year diploma course in journalism after studying history and english. In those days, when a woman joined a paper she was assigned to the women’s department. She had interviews at several dailies, then a lucky thing kicked in. Her journalism class was invited to go to a conference, and as a man walked by someone noted “that guy is looking for reporters.” She introduced herself to said guy and got a job in the newsroom at the St. John Telegraph Journal and Evening Times Globe, first in general assignment, then covering city council. The local car club was told to call Roz to report on their events.  One of the car club event organizers was told to “invite that girl from the paper” to a car event- he did and she did and his name is Tom Graham (and she married him!).

After marrying, Roz and Tom moved to Montreal, and then to southern Ontario.

Eventually, Tom’s company spun off to a start a company in United States. The Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation offered ready to go buildings and a skilled work force, close to Canada, and of the 12 employees heading out to start the new company, 11 were skiers or sailers or both. Burlington was an obvious choice. 

Tom and Roz bought a house in Shelburne, and on visits to Shelburne Farms, Roz met the Webbs and learned of their new venture. She volunteered to do PR for the newly formed non=profit and jJoined League of Women Voters.  Phyllis Deming had the idea to start the Shelburne News, and Roz took over this impressive project. 

The group had high hopes to start County News, covering Chittenden County, which could have been an excellent source of news but the economic situation of the 80’s made that impossible.

Roz was also involved in Shelburne Village dog park and the Shelburne Historical Society. 

It’s hard to imagine what Shelburne would be like without Roz’s amazing energy, grace and smarts. We’re grateful and fortunate to have her.


In other Rotary news- 

Winner of the golf ball drop  joined us!

Pam Levin, winner of the $4000 and was also a volunteer with Hands to Honduras.


Linda Gilbert reported on the library service projects- after a few hiccups she has the schedule all nailed down. Library asked if CSH Rotary would help with the move from the Field House to the new site.

Monday  9-12 at the library— Jessica, Charlie, Terrell, and Terry

Tuesday 9-12 at the field house  Diane, John L, Carrie, Joan

Thursday 1-4, at the field house John H., Carrie

Thursday 1-4 at the library, 


Richard Fox reported that December 15 is cutoff for a price point for the Rotary conference in Hawaii. Registration is capped at 24,000. District has a delegation of about 13 already signed up. Hop on the international web page for more info and to register!


Bill Root filled us in on Harvest Festival parking Sept. 21 at Shelburne Farms. Bill’s been leading the charge for 22 years. We park cars and SF let’s us use the coach barn for the car raffle. Hours of volunteer service are 8 am to 4pm.


CSH Rotary is buying a defibrillator for the Shelburne library. There was a question as to why we aren’t providing defibrillators for the Charlotte and Hinesburg libraries. Rotary needs a formal request and each library needs to have trained personnel. 


Charlie Kofman reminded the Club about Light the Night on Friday September 27. All members are encouraged to  join the walk, donate, and be a part of this great and inspirational evening benefitting Leukemia and Lymphoma research.. 


Car raffle October 11 is October 11. Here’s the list of volunteers! 



Only 9 members aren’t showing up on a regular basis. We miss you come back! 

Russ Blodgett- John Dupee

Judy Christianson- Roz


Chris Engstrom- Chris Davis

Bob Lake- George Schiavone 

Mal Parker- George, again.

Bill Root but he came today! Yay!!


October 27 is the Shelburne Halloween parade- Put it on your calendars! CSH Rotary is trying to be visible, so wear your Rotary clothes and show up so we have a BIG presence. There are fun opportunities like driving golf carts and working the hot dog stand.


Yay Roz for putting the banner up at the Field House! 


Happy Fines-

Lots of happy fines for Roz and gratitude for her service and all that she’s done over the years.

Linda is going to Missouri for her first cousin reunion and will be going to the Dolly Parton Stampede. Hmmm



Keith asked that we focus on building the club and not focus on the folks who aren’t participating. Build from the bottom. 

Change of the time for the meeting was initially well received, more time for breakfast more time to socialize. Keith would like a little bit of time to go back to folks with kids to see if we can get more of them in. Stay on this schedule for another month.


See you next week!