Posted by Carrie Fenn on Apr 15, 2020

April 15, 2020
Charlotte Shelburne Hinesburg Rotary Zooming in from my kid’s bedroom!

Kindly joining us today is our speaker Melanie Severo of Sun & Moon Acupuncture

Here we are in this new world of COVID 19- and amazing to think that a few years ago a virtual meeting like this would have been impossible!

Today we have Bob Sanders, John Hammer, Jessica Brumstead, Rosalyn Graham, Chris Davis, Jonathon Lowell, Linda Gilbert, Sam Feitelberg, Ric Flood, Richard Fox, Tod Whitaker, Linda Barker, Howard Seaver, Charlie Kofman, Jim Donovan, Carole Obuchowski , Denis Barton, Keith Walsh, Diana Vachon, Joan Lenes, Terry Kennaugh, Nancy Danforth, Trafton Crandall, Dan York, Bill, Susan Grimes, Linda and George Schiavone and Carrie Fenn

President Keith Walsh called the meeting to order- we didn’t recite the Pledge but perhaps we should do so now more than ever?

Bob Sanders recommended we suspend usual practice for expenditures and rather than have the Board vote on monies spent we should vote as a whole.

The Club has about $30,000 in the bank. We have not written a check to TELA yet and the consensus among meeting attendees is that a donation to our local food shelves is critical right now.
The Club’s scholarships are managed by VSAC and CSH Rotary is listed in the VSAC catalogue as awarding up to 3 scholarships for up to $2000 each. The wording is vague, but we do have a commitment to provide scholarships and the committee is currently reviewing the scholarship applications. We typically make determinations May 1 and write checks August 1. In light of the disruption in kids’ lives due to COVID-19, delaying or reducing the scholarships is ill-advised in that it could take away our goodwill and lessen the number of applicants next year. Bob recommends we could commit to two $2000 scholarships, immediately allocate $12000 to the food shelves either all at once or in weekly donations. John Hammer noted that we are not a bank- our funds are for immediate needs, not to save. He feels we should keep the money we need for operating expenses and give away the rest. Roz noted that it’s a desperate time for the food shelves- giving these emergency funds are a huge “WHY” people should donate to Rotary. When we donate to the food shelves, $1 is worth 10 meals- that’s a huge impact.

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Bob recommended providing donations to our three town food shelves and to Meals on Wheels.
Bob Sanders made a motion the Club allocate $12000 to our local food shelves and Meals on Wheels.

Howard Sever seconded the motion. All in favor. The motion carries.

Bob is proposing we pay France $50 per week stipend, retroactive to 4/1/20. Several seconds, all in favor, motion carries.
Trafton recommended via chat we should continue to donate to our fire and rescue and police departments.

Our speaker today is Melanie Severo. Melanie is a professional in health, wellness, anxiety management and acupuncture.

At 33 she moved from West Texas to New York City, and had a hard time adjusting. She experienced sleepless nights and lots of anxiety. She researched mind body healing in traditional Western medicine and found it to be lacking so she started researching alternative medicine. Her research led her to begin practicing yoga and meditation. After being hit by a car on her bicycle, she dove head first into alternative medicine. She did her yoga training and became an acupuncturist and started using flower essence. As she learned more about wellness, Melanie realized pain and fatigue is largely due to stress. Melanie notes that the pandemic and the stay at home orders are enhancing our feelings of confusion and can lead to an imbalance, creating more stress and anxiety which can manifest in physical and emotional distress.

There are 6 dimensions of Wellness: Occupational

Spiritual Social Intellectual

Her practice focuses on spiritual, emotional and physical dimensions. Physical Wellness

Melanie uses the National Wellness Institute definition of Wellness: Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.


is defined as the benefits of regular physical activity, healthy


eating habits, strength and vitality as well as personal responsibility, self-care and


when to seek medical attention

  • Regularphysicalactivityiscriticaltoabalancedlife:running,weight lifting (with guidance), yoga, team sport. Find a buddy who enjoys the same activity and you can hold each other accountable.

  • Good nutrition is paramount to good health.

  • Adequate rest is critical to good health. Develop good habits around going to bed, putting away electronics, things that will help you wind down and rest. Acupuncture can be very helpful if one is having trouble sleeping.

  • Pain can be managed with physical therapy, massage, fascia work and acupuncture.

    Emotional wellness is defined as learning to understand your and others’ emotions with Self-esteem, self-control, and determination as a sense of direction

  • Start writing an emotional journal- what are three things you are grateful for each day? Sets the tone for a good night’s sleep and puts one in a positive state of mind;

  • Meditation practice: Sit down, watch your breath and attempt to settle your brain. This trains your brain to work from a heart centered space when issues arise.

  • A life coach or counselor can be helpful in developing emotional wellness Spiritual Wellness: The development of belief systems, values, and creating a


  • Understand your values and beliefs and be tolerant of others- find a world view where there is something larger than you. Humanism, Christianity, Nature based spirituality, Buddhism- these philosophies put our existence into a framework. Once you find the belief system that works for you, join a community where you can have a heart centered connection that can help during difficult times.

  • Acupuncture can help people connect to spiritual health. Flower essence is helpful here, using blossoms distilled in water or alcohol base.

  • Connect with nature. Studies show that our stress levels go down when we go outside. Sunshine is good for your physical, emotional and spiritual help.

    Your self-care is a gift you give to the world. Take time each day for yourself.

Melanie is working on pivoting her practice to online and telemedicine. She can be reached at
802 662-1066- text or call.

Keith recommended the book “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer. Also check out SGN: Some Good News by John Krasinski and Emiy Blount (make sure you have tissues handy!).

Other news: RYLA 2020 has been cancelled.
Denis suggested we take some time each meeting to have people answer a question about themselves so we can get to know each other better.
Shelburne’s Earth Day has been rescheduled to May 30.
Keith suggested we continue to donate $10 a week via our Rotary website. This would help cover France. We can also mail checks to Linda Gilbert/TD Bank at 5068 Shelburne Road, Shelburne VT 05482.

Don’t forget to join in to Friday night happy hour.

Stay safe, stay inside, reach out to loved ones and be well all! Respectfully submitted,
Carrie Fenn

Re Monetary donations to Food Shelves
The $12,000 expenditure approved by the club was distributed as follows:

  • Charlotte Food Shelf $2,400
  • Shelburne Food Shelf $3,600
  • Hinesburg Food Shelf $4,000
  • Age Well (Meals on Wheels) $2,000