Last week Ipswich Rotary and the Ipswich East Rotary Club of Ipswich, UK celebrated a long tradition of biannual exchange visits and friendship. The week long visitation of the Ipswich, UK club to Massachusetts marked the 18th such visit spanning almost 40 years, every two years since 1988.
Among the traditions of Twinning is for the visiting club to make a significant donation to improve lives in the host community. This year, Ipswich East, UK donated a new custom crafted counter with a built-in electronic scale to the Ipswich Open Door food pantry. Active support of the new, expanded food pantry is a major commitment of Ipswich Rotary.
Twinning guests stay with host Rotary families during their visit. Over the years, many lasting friendships have been formed.
In addition to the Open Door gift ceremony, some of the activities this year included a trip to a Red Sox game, a tour of the State Capitol led by Representative Brad Hill and Senator Bruce Tarr, a tour of Boston on a Duck Boat, a clambake, and a tour of Ipswich. The Sox won a well-played game 5-4 and Ipswich East team leader, Mark Murphy, and our own District Governor, Sheryl Meehan appeared on the Jumbo Tron while being honored on the field. Since it also was Rotary Night at Fenway, a large group of District 7930 Rotarians joined them to cheer on the home team.
This weekend, a dozen Ipswich Rotarians pitched in to finish painting the new Open Door Food Pantry in Ipswich. Team leader Dave LeBel and Steve Rogé applied the prime coat on May 18, and a team of Rotarians joined forces to complete the job on June 4. Final trim work will be completed shortly. Participating in this community service project were Rotarians Gerry Beauchamp, Chris Doktor, Bob Gravino, George Gray, Dave LeBel, Julie Nelson, Brian Nelson, Nat Pulsifer, Steve Rogé, Lisa Shanko, Doug Shealy, and Bob Wicks.
With Rotary’s help, the shelves were stocked a few weeks ago and the new food pantry is open for business. The Open Door will serve Ipswich residents on Tuesdays, from 11 am – 5 pm and Thursday 11 am – 7 pm.
From left: LeBel, kneeling, Gravino, Beauchamp, Shanko, Gray, Wicks, Shealy.
From Left: Doktor, Beauchamp, Wicks, Pulsifer, J. Nelson, B. Nelson, and LeBel.
FOR MORE PICTURES, SEE THE PHOTO ALBUM ON THIS PAGE.
Dave is an Ipswich resident and President and CEO of the Essex County Community Foundation. The Foundation serves 34 communities in Essex County through needs based charitable grants and assistance to area non-profits. Their goal is to get people to “give where they live”. Last year, their grant making totaled over $4 million.
Dave’s passion and experience will be a strong addition to the club’s community projects and services outreach in Ipswich and Rowley, where our humanity in motion and direct financial aid improve lives.
Ipswich Rotary welcomes Dave to the Rotary family of service minded leaders.
Seen in the photo are Dave's sponsor Lee McNelly, Dave Edwards, and President Bob Gravino.
In the photo, Bob is seen with the Bob's mentioned above, with a couple of additional Rotary Bob's thrown in for extra measure. From left are Bob Gravino, Bob Wood, Bob Arsenault, Bob Wicks, and Bob Snow.
As part of the Rotary Satellite Club of Ipswich Old South Cemetery fence restoration project, Rotarian Dave Lebel completed the painstaking task of bringing the archway entrance back to its full glory. The transformation is clearly visible in the attached flier.
Congratulations to Dave and all the volunteers from Ipswich Rotary who spent many hours scraping, sanding and repainting. It was worth the effort to restore this bit of Ipswich history.
Our speaker at the breakfast club last week was long time Ipswich resident and Rotarian Don Whiston who regaled us with anecdotes from his new book “Winning Silver”.
Don was an All American hockey pioneer at Brown University and a silver medal winning goaltender for the US team at the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics. Rotarians had the rare opportunity to hold a real Silver Medal. While in college, he was the first goaltender to wear a mask. Clearly, there are no dummies at Brown; Don still has all his teeth.
He served with the Coast Guard in the Pacific theater during the final year of World War II, is a former President of the First National Bank of Ipswich, and is well known for his philanthropic service. His book “Winning Silver, A Memoir” is an engaging tale of a life well-lived, and is published by “The Beauty of Books”.