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This week at rotary...

The Speaker Committee introduced our first speaker of the Rotary year. Doug Brendel is an author and a co-founder of NewThing.Net. This organization is the longest continuously operating aid organization in Belarus. The concept began with the disaster in Chernobyl. Doug's wife had traveled extensively and initially brough Doug to Belarus. When the former Soviet Union collapsed western aid started flowing in, including the creation of NewThing.Net. The mission is to bring food and goods to Belarus to be delivered face-to-face.
A key part of NewThing.Net is that it is entirely staffed by Belarussians in Belarus. This is extremely important given the national and international politics of Belarus. The organization raises money in the United States to be sent to Belarus. In the past the money had been wired from one nation to the other. However, international sanctions against Belarus stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine have made such wire transfers impossible, so cash literally has to be brought from the United States to Belarus through Lithuania.
NewThing.Net is a 100% volunteer organization in the United States. There are no administration fees or anything like that, and any maintenance fees are covered by the founders. What this means is that all of the money donated to the organization go directly to the people of Belarus. Some examples of special projects that they have been involved in include building a children’s wing at a hospital, constructing a kitchen for children in need, and funding the repair to a vehicle at a children’s hospital. The entire budget for the organization is $8,000 a month, so every dollar goes a long way. 
Doug brought everyone at Rotary a present, a copy of the book that he wrote that advertises NewThing.Net.
With our friend Jack back at school, resident technology guru Gerrit Bradley took over the job of setting up the zoom equipment. There were some minor errors, such as the constant focusing on the face of Rich Eisner which nobody wants to see. We are confident that these mistakes will be cleaned up.
We welcomed back Viktoria Talebian after her 60 day sabbatical ended. Jeff Shribman even made an appearance. In total we had 23 Rotarians present along with our speaker and one guest. Two additional Rotarians attended via Zoom and thus had an extended view of Doc Eisner. Not surprisingly, one of these Rotarians logged off pretty early. 
Printed rosters are now available, so be sure to pick up your copy next week! There was a lot of interest a the Salem Rotary for an upcoming build-a-bed event. More details to follow so stay tuned. Carolyn Shapiro attended the recent Sips by the Sea event at the House of Seven Gables on behalf of Rotary, and we do have two tickets for the upcoming LifeBridge Night to Remember event this Thursday at Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead. Contact Jason Consalvo if interested.
This week the Hawthorne Hotel served a delightful salmon wrapped in puff pastry with seasoned spinach, roasted red onion, and pine nuts. Sides included mashed sweet potatoes, tasty green beans with caramelized shallots, and a chefs raspberry salad. The Bob Anthony Appetizer of the Week was a warm cinnamon-raison bread pudding with freshly whipped cream. 
Next week we will have a speaker from Salem Book Buddies!

VisIting Rotarians & Guests

Beth Debski was a guest of Claire Kallelis. Our speaker, Doug Brendel, was also in attendance

CAlendar winner!

Ana Disla
Sold by Kristen Armstrong

50:50 Raffle

Pot: $330
Jeff Shribman, twice
No Winners This Week 


  • Mister Walsh missed most of our recent meetings to work on his golf game. He recently travelled to Nova Scotia which was beautiful and the weather was fantastic.
  • Bruce Whear went sailing with Heidi, his sister, and his brother-in-law and were able to see the recent spectacular full moon. He also attend Peter Simonson's wake and service. Peter was a former Rotarian who lived in Beverly. 
  • Jeff Shribman announced that his trip to Peru planned for March 2020 is finally taking place in October, 2022. This of course means he will have yet another long absence from Rotary.
  • Gerrit Bradley gave an update on his two collegiate children. Jake's emotional support cat has finally been approved by the school administration. Willa joined crew at Skidmore, and they have been invited to the Head of the Charles!
  • Jason Consalvo remembered the contribution of Peter Simonson to the neighborhood Halloween festivities as he supplied adults with their own treats, assorted nips to keep them all warm. He also told us about an upcoming softball tournament for Beverly mom's that Kerry will be playing in. He described the scene as "out of Lord of the Flies" because the fathers, left to care for the kids, focus on the games instead. Our very own Samneric plays on the dad's team who eventually takes on the tournament's winner. It must be mentioned that the tournament takes place at the Harry Ball Field in Beverly, a name straight out of the imagination of a young Jason Consalvo. 
  • Viktoria Talebian was welcomed back to Rotary this week by Mike McLaughlin. She and Chris went on a 33 day trip of the southeastern United States that had a focus on the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. Highlights of the trip included stops at Appomattox Courthouse, Franklin, the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and Lake Hamilton. Lowlights included a stop in St. Louis which did have a great baseball game followed by not-so-great gunshots and a trip to Tybee Island which turned out to be snake infested. She took copious notes on the 5600 mile trip if anyone has any questions. She also spoke of the sad and unexpected passing of her longtime friend and maid of honor Nancy and thanked Adria for creating some wonderful graphics for her. 
  • Leslie Levesque informed us that EarlyAct officers will be elected next week at the Phoenix School. The installation is coming up soon and Rotarians are of course invited. Officers will be at Rotary in two weeks!
  • Liz Bradt will be off on her travels once again, this time headed off to the Smokey Mountains and to Denver for a wedding. All of this will be happening in October as she has rented her place through AirBnB for the month. This all coming on the heals of camping for a few weeks in Maine, thus allowing Liz to reclaim her place as "Most Interesting Traveler in Rotary".
  • Carolyn Shapiro announced the arrival of a brand new grandniece to the family.

Club Announcements

Lifebridge Dinner
September 14
Rick Jakious will be taking over the planning of these events for this Rotary year. Volunteers are always needed. Reach out to Rick to volunteer, and we will have more details in the coming week. 
Mini-Grant Applications are now open. The purpose of this mini-grant is to encourage the Rotary clubs of District 7930 to do a project in one or more of the areas of the Environment, Membership, Public Image, or Diversity/ Equity/ Inclusion. Projects that touch multiple areas are encouraged. The grant is intended to reinvigorate the clubs.
Burba Dental Partners and the Salvation Army are hosting an event on September 15 at 6:30 pm at the East Regiment Brewery. The Salvation Army North Shore is an incredible resource for individuals in need in the Salem community. The items that The Salvation Army needs the most are listed on the link below.  Monetary donations are also always welcomed.
At Rotary, we understand that cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture is essential to realizing our vision of a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change.
We value diversity and celebrate the contributions of people of all backgrounds, across age, ethnicity, race, color, disability, learning style, religion, faith, socioeconomic status, culture, marital status, languages spoken, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity as well as differences in ideas, thoughts, values, and beliefs.
Recognizing that individuals from certain groups have historically experienced barriers to membership, participation, and leadership, we commit to advancing equity in all aspects of Rotary, including in our community partnerships, so that each person has the necessary access to resources, opportunities, networks, and support to thrive.
We believe that all people hold visible and invisible qualities that inherently make them unique, and we strive to create an inclusive culture where each person knows they are valued and belong.
In line with our value of integrity, we are committed to being honest and transparent about where we are in our DEI journey as an organization, and to continuing to learn and do better.
Member Birthdays
Diane Pabich
September 5
Kristen Armstrong
September 6
Richard Blazo
September 6
Rinus Oosthoek
September 15
Jason Consalvo
September 16
Club Information
Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Square
Salem, MA 01970
United States of America
If you are interested in learning more about Salem Rotary, please email
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