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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.


Ipswich Rotary recently presented defibrillators to the Crane Estate and Appleton Farms.  On hand for the presentation were Rotary President Bob Gravino, Appleton Farms General Manager Chris Ward, project Rotarians Ben Collins and Rev. Skip Pimentel, and Crane Estate General Manager Peter Pinciaro.


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.  



Proceeds will Benefit Ipswich Rotary Scholarships and Community Service Programs
See Photo Albums on this Page for more information

Ipswich Rotary has selected the Clark family as our 2016 Persons of the Year.    
David, Cheryl, and Jared Clark survived their own family battle with opioid addiction and now devote a large part of their lives to helping families and individuals cope with this growing health crisis.  The trauma and heartache nearly tore the family apart.  But they never gave up.  After their son recovered, the family began leading the way to better understanding and treatment.
The Clark family fought hard to bring Narcon, a life-saving opiate reversal agent drug, to the police department.  They have appeared in countless public information forums with law enforcement and health officials.  One of these led to a Rotary District Grant for a second DARE officer at the Middle School.  Drawing from his own experience and credibility, Jared devotes much of his spare time to effectively counselling drug users.  David and Cheryl started and lead an Ipswich Chapter of “Learn to Cope”, a “non-profit support network that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for family members coping with a loved one addicted to opiates and other drugs”. 
As well as any family in Ipswich, the Clarks understand that this health tragedy can strike anywhere and that the consequences are heartbreaking and sometimes fatal.  Responding to the call, this dedicated and compassionate family is saving Ipswich lives and families every day.
We cannot think of anyone in our service area that better represents the Rotary principle of “Service Above Self”. 
Ipswich Rotarians are dedicated to improving lives and community in Ipswich and Rowley.  The Clarks will be formally honored and thanked at a club sponsored event in June.      

A pictorial report of this event can be seen in our Photo Albums section on this page.
Ben Collins celebrated his 65th Rotary anniversary on April 14.  It also was his 96th birthday.  He is still going strong at 96 and regularly attends our weekly meetings.
On hand for this day of celebration were District Governor David Manzi, District Governor Nominee Dave Gardner, and Assistant Governor Mark Golub.  They presented certificates from the District marking the occasion.  Governor Manzi also delivered a framed citation from Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran.  Rotary Director Julia Phelps, who had arranged for the President’s certificate but was travelling and unable to attend, sent her congratulations.
Club President Bob Gravino, assisted by DGN Gardner and AG Golub, presented Ben with a Paul Harris Plus-4 pin and medallion from the Club recognizing his 65 years of service.  Long-time friend and Rotarian, Jim Tedford presented a club flag signed by the members.  The Ipswich Club also marked his birthday with a beautiful and delicious cake and a rousing chorus led by other April birthday celebrants.     
Gloucester Rotarian Barry Pett, aide to Senator Bruce Tarr who was ill, filled in for his boss and presented recognitions from the Governor and from the state Senate.  Rep Brad Hill offered congratulations from the House of Representatives.  Rotarian and Town Manager Robin Crosbie spoke on behalf of herself and the Ipswich Selectmen.
The day was made even more special by the participation of members of Ben's family and several of his oldest and dearest friends.
It was a great day for Ben and a great day for Rotary.  Congratulations Ben for 65 years of Rotary service, and for a lifetime of humanity.

On April 7, the club welcomed Jennifer Perry as our newest member.  Jen is the site manager of the new Open Door Food Pantry in Ipswich which will be launched later this Spring.
From left, Membership Chair Lee McNelly, Jen Perry, sponsor Bill Nelson, and President Bob Gravino.  

Posted by David Hart 
on Feb 26, 2016 (reprinted from the District 7930 Website)
District 7930 has awarded its 2016-2017 Global Grant Scholarship to Kristin Kelleher of Newburyport, MA. The scholarship is worth $30,000. Ms. Kelleher who is sponsored by the Ipswich Rotary Club will be attending Kings College London beginning in September 2016. Ms. Kelleher currently works as a Legislative Aid for Representative Jay Kaufman.
Ms. Kelleher will enroll in the Master's Program, Environment, Politics, and Globalization. This program fits very nicely with Rotary International’s area of focus; Economic and Community Development. While attending Kings College London, Ms. Kelleher will also design and implement a “Service Project” which will have a positive and sustainable effect on the local community. Ms. Kelleher’s service project will show the correlation between low-income individuals, health, environmental issues and success in obtaining a job that provides a sustainable wage.
This year we had five (including Ms. Kelleher) very strong candidates. All of which, we believe, will affect a positive change in our world. All candidates were required to complete the Global Grant application, provide a resume, provide two letters of reference, college transcripts, admission to a Masters or Doctorate program and a concept for a service project within the RI six areas of focus. Lastly, a candidate needs to have a strong knowledge of Rotary and how Rotary could assist them in their future endeavors.
An interview committee was formed which included the incoming District Governor (2016-2017) Sheryl Meehan, current Foundation Chair Ingrid Brown, current Outgoing Global Grant Scholarship Chair David Hart, District Governor-Nominee David Gardner, and Lexington Rotarian Doug Holmes.
All candidates were interviewed on Saturday March 20, 2016 and the committee made its decision on the same day. District 7930 and the interview committee was proud of the caliber of candidates this year and wants to offer congratulations to our winner Kristen Kelleher. Ms. Kelleher is and will continue to be a champion of the Rotary motto “Service Above Self”.

At their meeting on January 7, the Ipswich Rotary Club recognized Winthrop School educator and social worker Deborah Trevarrow with their highest honor, a Paul Harris Fellowship.  Deb was recognized for her many years as faculty advisor to the Rotary sponsored youth service club, Winthrop EarlyAct, and for her exceptional contributions to youth in our community.  Youth development is a major goal of Rotary International.  Ipswich Rotary partners with the Ipswich Public Schools to sponsor youth service clubs at the High School and at both elementary schools.  Each year, the club also sponsors a year-long international Rotary Youth Exchange which benefits the community as well as the students. 
The EarlyAct club is open to students in Grades 4 and 5.  The club follows a format similar to Rotary, meeting to identify, discuss, and select projects and to foster a spirit of “Service Above Self”.  Their community and international projects help the students learn, appreciate and value service that improves lives.
This month marks Deb’s 15th anniversary as School Social Worker at Winthrop.  In her multifaceted position, Deb develops “initiatives and programs to maintain a safe, welcoming and inclusive school environment.  I also support the social and emotional development of the children through classroom curriculum, small group instruction and individual counseling.” 
With this background, it is understandable that Deb facilitates the “Student Leadership Program which has grown to include 100 fourth and fifth grade students.  The focus of this group is on service and supports the development of skills such as communication, critical thinking and cooperation.”  As a natural extension of that initiative, EarlyAct has given her the added opportunity “to partner with Ipswich Rotarians” and be “inspired by the projects that the children initiate to help others”. 
Rotary truly is fortunate.  Winthrop Principal Sheila McAdams refers to Deb Trevarrow as the “heart of our school.  In addition to her daily responsiveness to student and family needs, she is constantly creating programs that care for all of the members of our learning community.  Last year, she began working with Open Door to help develop the summer food program and coordinated bowl paintings for their yearly fundraiser.  This year, she created a mindfulness program for the school.  As part of the program, she teaches classrooms of students how to stay focused and regulate their breathing, appreciating all the wonders around them.  As an extension of our mindfulness theme, she developed and coordinated a yoga program for staff.  Deb oversees the 100+ student leadership council, an opportunity for students to take on leadership roles in the school and community.”
Ipswich Rotary congratulates Deborah Trevarrow, PHF, for her dedication and “Service Above Self”.   

On Saturday, December 12, Ipswich High School Interact led youth of all ages on a festive Jingle Bell Walk to welcome Santa to Ipswich.  "Buddy the Elf" and Ipswich youth of all ages greeted Santa at Town Wharf and led the jolly elf and his friends on a joyful walk along the river to Town Hall.  Along the way, the Grinch was spotted and retained by the Ipswich police.  Inspired by the large assemblage of cheerful celebrants, the heart of the Grinch grew three times that day. 
Ipswich Interact is s High School club dedicated to community service.  Proceeds from this event and other club activities are used to help people in our local and global communities.  The money raised from the Jingle Bell Walk will be donated to Ipswich Caring to provide holiday meals and toys to local families.


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.


Rotarian Bob Arsenault recently returned from a Rotaplast mission in the Philippines. 
The Amesbury Rotary Club sponsored a medical mission to the Philippines through Rotaplast International, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco.  One hundred and twenty two surgical procedures were performed on patients in Cebu City to repair cleft lips, cleft palates, and dental work for patients ranging in age from three months to thirty five years.  All medical treatment was free of charge to patients, many of whom travelled up to six hours to the hospital.  Medical Director Evelyn Abad explained, "Often children and adults with these deformities are shunned by their community.  We give them a second chance to smile."
The medical team consisted of eight non-medical volunteers from Rotary Clubs in the Greater Boston area as well as a team of surgeons, anaesthesiologist, nurses and Rotarians from California, Washington, Hawaii, and South Dakota.  Among the non-medical volunteers was Bob Arsenault of Ipswich Rotary.  Donating time, talent, and a bit of money for airfare, Arsenault served as the Quartermaster for the two-week trip.  
As Quartermaster, Bob handled the logistics of all supplies to and from the site.  He joined this mission to give back to those less fortunate, but still was surprised to see how little some of the locals had.  He was inspired by the unwavering love the parents showed for their children with birth defects.  Having experienced first-hand this powerful resource for change, Bob is committed to focusing on Rotary’s global mission of providing sustainable health care to children and families.
Ipswich Rotary President Bob Gravino congratulated Bob and the other members of the club whose financial contributions helped make this mission possible.  The Rotaplast medical mission to the Philippines was an opportunity for Ipswich Rotarians to help children have a normal life, free from the societal and life altering problems associated with facial deformities.”
To learn more about Rotaplast, and to see photos and videos of the medical mission, visit www.rotary7930.org and click on "2015 Rotaplast Mission" under the Club Information section.

Ipswich Rotary is supporting the Ipswich YMCA expansion with a donation of $25,000.  The Ipswich Family Y serves residents of Ipswich and Rowley, towns also served by Ipswich Rotary, plus Essex, Hamilton and Wenham. 
The Ipswich Rotary Club has a long history of partnership with the local YMCA.  In addition to supporting the initial construction, the club built adjacent Rotary Park in 2004-05 as part of its celebration of the 100th anniversary of Rotary International.  The park, which includes a baseball field, gazebo and open space, has become an important feature of the Y complex, especially during summer camp months.  In recent years Rotarians have enhanced the park with new millstone signage and a bench dedicated to the memory of one of the park’s founders, Rotarian Bud Conley.  In 2013, the Rotary sponsored Ipswich High School Interact club placed one of five international Peace Poles at the park entrance as part of their annual community service outreach.
In the photo, Gerry Beauchamp, Ipswich YMCA Executive Director and an Ipswich Rotary Director, is presented with a check from the club.  From left to right are President Elect Lisa Shanko, Immediate Past President Rev. Brad Clark during whose term the grant was initiated, Gerry Beauchamp, Vice President Cushing Titcomb, and President Bob Gravino.

The Ipswich Rotary Club has unanimously elected Cushing Titcomb as Vice President.  Titcomb will become President Elect on July 1, 2016, and will be club President in 2017-18.
In his capacity as Vice President, Cushing will oversee the club’s community service initiatives in both Ipswich and Rowley.  He will head a planning team that works with both towns to identify service projects to make these towns a bit better.  The planning committee also is responsible for ensuring that implementation teams are assigned to each project.  As President Elect the following year, he will assume responsibility for general oversight and coordination of the club’s fundraising initiatives.
A long time Ipswich resident, Cushing is a well-known local business and community leader.  He joined Ipswich Investment Management in 2004 and became owner/partner in January, 2007.  His extensive career began at State Street Bank in 1974.  In addition to Rotary, Cushing currently serves as Treasurer of both the Ipswich Museum and the Ipswich Community Access Media Committee.  An avid bike rider, he has participated in the “Ride to Defeat ALS” and in the “Pan Mass Challenge” two day event for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Cushing also actively supports the Mass Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Ipswich Rotary welcomes Cushing to our strong leadership team. 
Seen in the photo are President Bob Gravino, President Elect Lisa Shanko, and Vice President Cushing Titcomb.    

The Ipswich Rotary Club is now on Twitter! Follow us!

At our regular breakfast meeting at the Village Pancake House last week, Ipswich Rotary inducted new member Bob Arsenault.  Bob, who is married to fellow Ipswich Rotarian Joan Arsenault, was nominated by Rotarian Bob Wood and sworn in by President Bob Gravino.  Joan unfortunately was unable to attend.  Welcome Bob A. to the Ipswich Rotary family!

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.

Ipswich Rotary is once again happy to award scholarships to deserving Ipswich and Rowley graduates of Ipswich High School and Triton Regional High School.  This year’s recipients are Maggie Brown, Jolene Buczala, Kiersten Flodman, Hannah Klapprodt, David Osgood, Joanna Perry, Maddie Schmuch, and Ryan White. 
Congratulations to each of these young scholars, and our very best wishes at your universities and beyond.  The students are pictured with their families, President Bob Gravino, Scholarship Committee Chair Martha Mauser, and in the first photo, District Governor David Manzi. 


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.


The Ipswich Rotary Story is featured in the September edition of "Ipswich Neighbors" magazine, which was delivered to Ipswich homes at the beginning of the month.  The full story also appears on this site in the drop down menu "About".  Select the tab "About Our Club".


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”.


Seen in this American gothic image of the project team are, from left, Heidi Paek, Dave LeBel, Becky Gayton, Julie Nelson, Bob Nelson, and Jay Buccafusca from the satellite evening club; along with Bob Gravino and Bob Wicks from the breakfast club. Chris Gregory, President of the satellite club had to leave before the picture was taken. Kathy Gravino took the photo.
With shovels, rakes, spade, 3-prong fork, long handled pruners and some water, a group of Rotarians gathered at the 9/11 Memorial in Rowley  to plant some flowers and do some landscaping. “We will be planting fall flowers as well as tulips in preparation for spring. The memorial is at the intersection of Cross and Pleasant Streets,” Becky Gayton had mentioned. The Memorial is dedicated to the three Rowley residents lost in the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy. According to Pres. Bob Gravino, “The Club intends to return to the site in the spring with a more detailed plan for long-term plantings and maintenance.” Dave LeBel says, “Country Gardens has also worked up a planting plan.” Bill and Lisa Freitag of Country Gardens, Central Street, Rowley, donated the plantings and mulch; Dave LeBel and the Gravinos provided the planting soil.
This activity followed a meeting by Bob Gravino and other club leaders with Rowley Board of Selectmen on August 10th, Rotary has begun one of several projects proposed to and accepted by the Rowley Board. On hand with President Bob on August 10th were VP George Gray, Rowley businessman and Youth Chair Keith Harris, Secretary Ray Katzen, and Dave LeBel from the Satellite Club.

On June 6, Ipswich Rotary officially inaugurated the first Rotary Satellite Club in our area, and one of the first in Rotary International worldwide.  Members of the new satellite club are members of Ipswich Rotary who will meet separately as an evening club that will focus primarily on community service.
Following a short fellowship brunch, Ipswich Rotary President Rev. Brad Clark opened the proceedings by describing how the satellite club was envisioned.  Ipswich Rotary was looking to engage great people who want to serve their communities but cannot meet weekly in the traditional way.  The satellite club offers a more flexible and customized approach that should appeal to today’s busy professional and community leaders. 
Brad then introduced District Governor Peter Simonsen.  Peter emphasized the historic importance of the event.  He said that this landmark initiative will make Rotary more accessible and effective, and that it was symbolic for the change to begin in Ipswich with its tradition of service and innovation, both locally and internationally.  He added that Ipswich Rotary is a like a family, a club that knows how to have fun while doing good things in the world. 
District Membership Chair, Peter Majane, added his congratulations to Ipswich Rotary for this milestone and pace setting initiative.  He welcomed the new Rotarians to the world-wide Rotary family and recognized the exceptional success of the Ipswich club.  He specifically cited Interact, a Rotary sponsored youth leadership club at Ipswich High School, as an example of local Rotarians mentoring future leaders on the value of humanitarian and community service.  
Following the remarks, District Governor Simonsen inducted nine of the eleven charter members into Rotary.  Two members could not be present and will be inducted later this month.  The new club will be known officially as the “Rotary Satellite Club of Ipswich After-Hours”.  Members of the parent club presented the new Rotarians with their membership pins.  Joint teams from both clubs then marked the occasion by dispersing to five locations in Ipswich and Rowley to spend the rest of the morning sprucing up several public venues and, as Peter Simonsen had said, making these two towns a bit better. 
The Ipswich projects included repainting the wrought iron fence at Southside Cemetery, spreading mulch in the Riverwalk planters, cleaning the playground equipment at Father Ryc’s Playground on Kimball Street, and repainting the sign and spreading mulch in the small park at the foot of Spring Street.  In Rowley, a team raked, trimmed hedges, planted flowers, and spread mulch at the September 11 Memorial at Pleasant and Cross Streets.
June 6, 2015 was a day of history and service for Ipswich Rotary.