Official Newsletter of the Salem Rotary Club

This week at Rotary...

WellBoring Foundation
Pete Johnson, member of the WellBoring Foundation Board, gave the Club an update on the WellBoring project our Club sponsored in the past as part of a Global grant put together by Rick Squires that also involved Beverly Rotary, three clubs in the UK, and one in France.
WellBoring is a volunteer led charity focused on addressing a lack of clean water in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the largest number of water-stressed countries of any region. With the slogan, “where there’s a will there’s a well,” Beverly and Salem Rotary became involved in the project in 2017. The global grant, with just over $81,000 in Rotary funds, financed 13 wells in schools in Kenya, which previously had no source of clean water. Rotary-sponsored wells are marked with Rotary plaques, and the Salem-sponsored well is at a school in Lela. When the group approached our clubs, they had 52 wells drilled in Africa. As of now, they have drilled wells in 182 schools, with 95 percent of all funds raised being invested in-country to drilling.
Pete showed examples of completed wells and explained how they worked and how residents access the clean water. The wells are drilled deep enough to avoid the risk of contamination but shallow enough to allow handpumps to be used so there is no running costs. The organization builds relationships with rural school-centered communities far from any water grid. They are also able to revive wells that can be repaired, as there are thousands of broken wells across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania alone. They additionally work with the local community to establish ownership over the well and establish a locally-funded maintenance program to keep the water following. A typical well costs $6,500, impacts 1,000 lives, and has a 20-year minimum well life. Well repair typically costs $1,500 and has a 10-year well life extension. Their goal is to install 250 wells by the end of 2021.
WellBoring plans to continue their principal focus in western Kenya but has formed a new arm of the organization, WellBoring West Africa, which is based in Gambia. The first project there will include five wells. The second phase includes 50+ wells across the country, and the third phase will take a similar approach in other targeted countries including Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
This work is supported from a variety of sources: donations, WellBoring memberships, partnerships, and forming Get Well Groups. For more information visit their website.


Chrissy Clark of Oconomowoc, WI
Sold by Bill Henning

Rotarians in Service!

Thank you Jane Stirgwolt for funding and making the bulk of this month’s meal and the Community Service Committee for your efforts on the Lifebridge on Wednesday, March 10! This month featured Jane’s famous meatloaf along with homemade desserts baked by Jane. Side dishes, salad and delivery were coordinated by Claire and Kristen, who has covered the cost of her BJs trips. The next meal is planned for May. Please contact Kristen Armstrong or Claire Kallelis if you would like to volunteer.


Rinus shared that he followed up with Superintendent Steve Zrike from the Salem Public Schools (SPS) regarding his interest in joining the Salem Rotary Club. In this follow up, he shared how our Club has traditionally collaborated with and supported Salem High and the Salem Public Schools, including:
  • Jazz Band & Chamber Singers: Annual performances at Rotary luncheon; donations from the Club; and Rotary Calendar sales (split the profit)
  • Football Team: Annual meeting with Beverly Rotary that welcomes the mayors, football coaches, team captains and cheerleaders the Tuesday before the Thanksgiving game with contributions to both teams’ Boosters
  • College Scholarships: $30,000 – $50,000 annually, depending on our fundraising success
  • InterAct chapter at the high school
  • Salem Backpack program: Initially provided food for the weekend to 35 students at Bentley; during the pandemic we joined the conglomerate for food assistance with the Salem Pantry
  • Black Cat Luncheon: New last year, 30 Rotarians attended and ate a delicious lunch, followed by a short program and a tour of the CTE department
  • Salem Rotary Club CTE Merit Scholarships: New last year, our Club gave 6 merit-based $1,000 Salem Rotary Club Scholarships to one student in each program (Medical Assisting, Early Education and Care, Automotive, Building and Property Maintenance, Electrical, and Culinary Arts)

Why I am A SALEM Rotarian

Jen Close shared that she is a young member of Rotary...not necessarily in age, but in years served. When PEM finally joined as a Corporate Member, and they got into the swing of things with their once a month obligation to attend, she was happy to be there but never felt like she was getting the whole experience of what Rotary is, what we do and why we do it. There was great networking and of course a great lunch at the Hawthorne, but thanks to COVID, she now has the ability to attend the weekly Rotary meetings….and Dutch drinks!
When our meetings went online, and she was able to reschedule commitments and make Rotary a weekly event - so much changed. She knew most Rotarians already, but now feels she knows us ALL so much better. Seeing members each week and being able to engage in service like we did over the holidays and with the Lifebridge dinners really fills her bucket. Jen is thankful her family is able to share in our service and learn from what Rotary does for others.
Many of us know from her classification “event” that her husband is a tattoo artist. Jen has been working on new a piece with him for a long time (before Rotary) that includes the word Seva, a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service;” something she considers the most important part of any spiritual practice and life. When she thinks about Rotary, that same word comes to mind. She feels Rotary helps her to be a better person, to serve and share with others. She looks forward to so many more years of service above self with the Club both inside and outside of Rotary.
Jen reminded us that she shared her pineapple tattoo at a Dutch Drinks. When her new tattoo is finally done, she will share it there too! Jen has selected Kristen Armstrong to share next week.

RotarIAN NEWS...

  • Siddhartha Shah shared that PEM is offering a free virtual screening of the film Selma this weekend with a virtual conversation to follow on Monday, March 15 at 6PM with Siddhartha and Dr. Walter Harper, professor of anthropology at Bridgewater State University. Click here for more information or to register.
  • Mark Shaw offered to sponsor a Lifebridge meal if needed.
  • Bruce Whear gave us an update on his homemade birdfeeders. The squirrels came back during our meeting and infiltrated the webbing he used to keep them out.
  • Joanne Scott shared that her father battled squirrels for decades and used a super soaker to keep squirrels out of his birdfeeder.
  • Liz Bradt shared that Bart is getting better, and her parents have been fully vaccinated.
  • Gerrit Bradley polled the group to see if he should keep growing his hair out. The consensus is yes! He also shared that his family sold the house in Martha’s Vineyard that they shared as an auction item for the club in the past. He is going this weekend to say goodbye.

Club Announcements

Dutch Drinks
Friday, March 12 at 6 PM
Building off Jason Gardner’s ideas for living our best lives and making time for ourselves, let’s spend the next Dutch Drinks celebrating what makes us happy! If you are planning to attend, please email me a photo or a note about what you enjoy doing in your free time for another round of Salem Rotarian trivia! This could include hobbies, interests, and whatever else floats your boat! A zoom link for Dutch Drinks has been sent in a separate email.
Paying it forward
A recent calendar raffle winner, Ann Laff of Peabody, sent her winnings back to the Club with the enclosed note of gratitude: “Dear Salem Rotarian Friends – I was delighted to receive a $100 prize for the Salem Rotary Calendar Raffle. I’d like to pay it forward with the enclosed donation. Almost 20 years ago, my daughter Sarah was a recipient of a Rotary college scholarship, and I feel very fortunate for that generous contribution! Thank you for all you do for the Salem community. – Ann Laff”
Board Meeting Updates
Francesco Sabelli and his brother Mickey joined our meeting to present on a project to develop a school for street children in Malawi called the Streetwise Project. This project started from one man who wanted to provide education, nutrition and opportunity to children, who for a variety of reasons would otherwise be on the street. Partnering with Round Table, an organization Mickey is involved with, the goal is to build a new school that would allow for government funded educators to teach these children. They will be presenting this project to the club this spring.
The board discussed in-person meetings and determined that it is too soon to gather now, but the topic will be revisited again in April to see how the vaccines have gone and where we are in the state restrictions and member comfort level.
Calling All Spoke Note Takers
Jason Consalvo is looking for members to assist with notes for the Spoke. Adria will still compile the bulletin each week but could use some help with the notetaking during the meeting. Taking notes for the Spoke is a great way for new Rotarians to get to know our members! Please email Jason if you are able to help. Kristen Armstrong was the wonderful volunteer this week!
Salem Rotary Scholarship Applications Are Posted!
The 2021 scholarship applications are now available on our website. The Scholarship Committee is already working to promote this opportunity to seniors. Please help get the word out in any way you can and direct interested applicants to the “download files” section of our homepage on the bottom right for the applications. Applicants must be residents of Salem, Massachusetts and may not be the child, grandchild, niece, nephew, great niece or great nephew (this includes adoptive or step relationship) of any current member of Salem Rotary, or any person that has been a member of Salem Rotary within the past five years. These scholarships are available to grade 12 high school and trade school students pursuing college or a vocational trade. Applications will be accepted from February 24 through April 10, 2021.
Upcoming Speakers
Mar 16, 2021
Making A Living Lying for 30 Years
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Member Birthdays
John Fisher
March 1
William Kielbasa
March 6
Robert Anthony
March 17
Board of Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Public Image Chair
Russell Hampton
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Club Information
Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Square
Salem, MA 01970
United States of America
We are currently meeting via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to returning to the Hawthorne Hotel soon! In the meantime, please email for our Zoom link.
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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7