Fiscal Year 2023/2024
Bristol Rotary, Inc., Post Office Box 469, Bristol, RI 02809

Welcome to Bristol Rotary!

Rotary is a global community of more than 1.2 million men and women dedicated to building a better world.  Founded in 1929, the Rotary Club of Bristol is a fellowship and service organization of over 50 men and women dedicated to the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.  Our club has made many large and small contributions to the welfare of this community and to communities throughout the world. Through the Rotary community, you can exchange ideas and build lifelong friendships with like-minded people. If you have a sincere interest in making a positive contribution to your community, we’re interested in meeting you. Email our President or Secretary to learn how you can become a Bristol Rotarian.

We meet the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at 12:15 P.M. at
The DeWolf Tavern Restaurant
259 Thames Street
Bristol, RI 02809

You are cordially invited to Bristol Rotary's biggest fundraiser of the year, on December 9th, 2023, from 6pm to 10pm, at the Bristol Yacht Club. All proceeds will go to Bristol Rotary's Charities. Come for a fun filled night at $75 per person. To buy a ticket or to donate, see the instructions below our poster.
To Buy Tickets or to Donate to our 2023 Winter Gala:
Below there are two links: one to donate to the fundraiser and one to buy tickets to the Gala. If you wish to do both, come back into the website for the second action. The "Ticket" button will give you the option, through a drop down menu, of buying up to 8 tickets. If you wish to buy more, come back into the website after buying the first eight.  
You will receive a receipt from PayPal and an email from Bristol Rotary confirming the payment for tickets or a donation.  Thank you for your support.
"Help Us Help Others"

[ Click here to Donate with PayPal ]


Please scroll down to see the Live Auction items.
Scroll back up to buy tickets or to donate.

On September 30th, Bristol Rotary completed a 2-part fundraiser at the Bristol Sports Club to renovate the orphanage for girls of Casas de Acolhimento Residencial de Criancas e Jovens Nossa Senhora dos Anjos, in San Miguel. Working with the Rotary Club of San Miguel, our sister club, the fundraiser raised over $20,000: $10,000 from the event itself and another $10K matched by Bristol Rotary’s Charities Foundation. The funds were wired after the event and the renovation has already begun.  Congratulations to all who participated.
The “Fado Night” fundraiser was a great success not only for the financial results but for the outstanding concert and singing of Sonia Bettancourt, seen below.
The East Bay Food Pantry (EBFP) has helped residents of Bristol, Newport and Providence County to reduce hunger and increase nutrition since 2009 – particularly through the Covid years. On October 22, 2023, the EBFP has planned a fundraiser at the Bristol Yacht Club called “Uncorked 2023” with a goal of raising $10,000. EBFP is offering 3 levels of sponsorship: Platinum for $2,000, Gold for $1,000 and Silver for $1,000.
Bristol Rotary has been a consistent donor to the EBFP, having donated almost $15,000 since 2020.  We are proud to have become a Platinum Sponsor.
Below is Emily Mushen Executive Director of the EBFP, receiving a check for $2,000 from Martin Roussel, Former President of Bristol Rotary and Member of the Board of Directors.
Bristol Rotary along with Rotary Clubs around the country met the call of the Hawaiian Rotary Club to donate to the Maui Fires Relief Fund.  The strength of Rotary Clubs is being able to come together and have a measurable impact on people in need in a tragedy like in Lahaina, Maui.
To Buy Tickets or to Donate to Fado Night:   
At the bottom on this page, there is a link saying "Click here to pay with PayPal." Click. Then put in the amount. Click on "Donate by Credit or Debit Card."  Fill out the contact information, and where it says "Write a note," indicate whether the amount is for tickets or a donation.
Before you click the final "Donate" button, make sure to unclick the option "Create a PayPal account." Otherwise it will ask you to create a PayPal account.
You will receive a receipt and we will respond that it has been received.  Thank you for your support.     
                                                      Help Us Help Others

[ Click here to pay with PayPal ]

 Our speaker at our lunch meeting on August 2 was Warren Rensehausen (below), Director of Bristol Parks and Recreation. Warren thanked the Club for our $900 donation to their summer camp program, covering the cost of three additional children.  He spoke about the many improvements to the Rec. Dept., including six pickle ball courts, renovations to the playgrounds including Rockwell Park, Bristol Marina, Town Beach and Fatima Drive. He is looking at designs for a Town Beach performance stage, which will be open for concerts, as well as a drop-down movie screen for outdoor movies, with that beautiful background. They also plan to put in a 30x60 Splash Pad - sprinklers that come up from the ground. The Rec. Dept. also offers many programs, like volleyball, Maritime Center for indoor activities, bowling at Dudek on Thursdays, Tech Talk and much more.  As a life-long Bristolian, Warren is dedicated doing great things for Bristol Parks and Recreation.



On August 2, 2023, Bristol Rotary was extremely proud to have had Chief Kevin Lynch become a member of Bristol Rotary.
Chief Lynch has led a distinguished 35-year career in law enforcement and public service across police departments and state agencies in Rhode Island. Chief Lynch has served as Chief of the Bristol Police Department since 2019, and previously served as Commander of the Cranston Police Department and Deputy Administrator of the Public Utilities Commission for the State of Rhode Island. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Roger Williams University’s Criminal Justice program, which is ranked among the top 10 percent criminal justice programs in the country, and teaches in the Criminal Justice program and Policing, Public Safety and Security program at RWU’s University College. 
Paul LaFleur, Bristol Rotary President, said, “Chief Lynch is no stranger to community service which is the primary function of Bristol Rotary and Rotary Clubs around the world. We welcome his advice, counsel and participation.”
Below, Bristol Rotary Board Member and Treasurer, Cidalia Rodrigues (left) who inducted Chief Lynch (right) into Bristol Rotary.
“The Bristol Warren Thrive by Five and Beyond (BWTB5B) is a group of 20 social service and educational agencies, faith organizations and individuals that serve families in Bristol and Warren.  Since 2013, we have been meeting monthly to share information about our programs to better serve our families.  We also run Parenting Workshops, Professional Development programs and Community Presentations such as the 2022 RI Kids Count Data in Your Backyard Event, at which over 50 community members came together to hear data about the needs of families in our community.  In past years, we held six large resource fairs for the community, sharing resources and entertainment for approximately 800 people.  This year we are pivoting to join other events to give us time to focus our attention on addressing issues and needs that arose from the Data in Your Backyard event.  Our areas of focus are:  Increasing Student Attendance in Preschool to Grade 3, Supporting the Mental Health and Wellness of all Children and Promoting Proactive Early Childhood Programs.  To enable us to host some of these events and projects related to the areas of focus, we have been asking our donors to help support our work.  Bristol Rotary's Charities Foundation has donated $2,300 to help pay for workshops, website work and toolkits for schools.  We thank Bristol Rotary for their support and look forward to working with them and our other generous donors.”
Below on the left, Emily Pearce-Spence, & far right, Donna Ramos Razza (BWTB5B); center Elizabeth Habecker (Bristol Rotary).
Annually,  Bristol Rotary donates financial awards to selected outstanding and deserving students from schools in our community. Below, is Bristol Rotary Board member Cidalia Rodrigues giving those awards to two outstanding high school graduates: Marina Abrev on the left, and Shivani Mehta on the right.  Marina is a graduate of Saint Mary Academy - Bayview. Marina is planning to go to the Fordham University in NY in the Fall to study Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and Communications. While Shivani will attend Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Shivani will major in Neuroscience. Both women have excellent academic records, have been leaders in their respective schools, and have helped their communities.  We wish them good fortune in their chosen fields. Well done!
At our July 12th meeting, the new Board for the Bristol Rotary Club was sworn in. The members of the Board, left to right, are: Maria Cesario, Elizabeth Habecker, Cidalia Rodrigues, Angela Cabral, Paul LaFleur (President), Mary Jo Fidalgo-Tavares, Jacques de Labry, Marty Roussel, Sandra Andrade, and Bruce Cox.  Their titles and roles can be found on the Bristol Rotary website on the right side of the page - ""
At our first meeting of the new fiscal year, three members of Bristol Rotary received the prestigious Paul Harris Award for continuous and exceptional contributions to Bristol Rotary Club over the years. They are (left to right): Mary Jo Fidalgo-Tavares presenting the awards (future President) and Elizabeth Habecker (past President); then Mary Jo and Angela Cabral (past President); and finally Paul LaFleur (current President) and Mary Jo. Congratulations to all three. 
At our meeting on June 21, our speaker was Chuck Anastasia (below). Chuck is a volunteer leader of the M25:35 Ministry at St. Mary of the Bay Church in Warren. M25:35 refers to Matthew chapter 25, verse 35, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me." Chuck talked about his experience working with the Diocese of Providence and DORCAS International assisting refugees and immigrants settling in Rhode Island.  Over the past year, the M25:35 Ministry furnished apartments with donated furniture, housewares, linens, and clothes for six families arriving from Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela. M25:35 also provided assistance for Ukrainian refugee families and arranged volunteer drivers for refugee's medical appointments. M25:35 seeks to ease the burdens of those who—often having suffered from war, oppression, poverty and political turmoil—come to the United States in search of the opportunity to live in peace, safety and freedom. Bristol Rotary was pleased to donate to M25:35 and to support their magnanimous work.
A message from Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Bristol, Warren Rensehausen (below left), noted that the Summer Camp registration has increased to close to 450 children this year, up 10%. The Program runs from June 21 to August 4th. The fee for the Summer Program ($300 per child) includes a T shirt, bussing from 5 locations, if needed, and lunch daily. In addition, the Program offers scholarships for families who would have difficulty paying the $300 fee. They were able to cover 15 families through grants and donations, but 3 more families came forward asking for help that the Program could not cover. Bristol Rotary offered to help and donated the last $900 needed to provide for everyone. Let’s give all our kids a great summer.
Below, left to right is Director, Rensehausen, Assistant Director, Tim Shaw, Bruce Cox, President of the Bristol Rotary’s Charities Foundation, and Mary Jo Fidalgo-Tavares, President-Elect of the Bristol Rotary Club for the upcoming 2024 year.
King Philip Little League (KPLL) was founded in 1952 and believes in the power of youth baseball and softball, to teach life lessons that build stronger individuals and communities.  We should all be proud of their achievements and the hard work that their volunteers have put in for the league’s success.
The KPLL are in the beginning of their playoff season and then will immediately jump into their all-star season. During these games, numerous baseball families and fans from around the State will be in attendance. But to have the best season, the KPLL needs an upgrade to their sound system. Having an upgraded sound system will allow them to make clear announcements of the action on the field, help in fundraising efforts, and announce awards – so that the spectators can be part of the action.
In the picture, below (left) President Paul LaFleur of Bristol Rotary is presenting a donation of $1,400 to KPLL volunteer Jennifer Mello (center) for the improved sound system. On her left, is Bristol Rotarian Ken Watkinson.  Have a great season KPLL!
We are happy to welcome Glenn Donovan as a new member of Bristol Rotary. Below Glenn is congratulated by Paul LaFleur, President of Bristol Rotary.
Glenn Donovan is a retired Radiation Safety Technologist serving 37 years at Lifespan Hospitals. He also taught in their Nuclear Medicine and X Ray Technology schools. He is currently volunteering as a court appointed child advocate and a long-term care ombudsman.  Glenn also serves on the Bristol Conservation Commission. He is also the husband of another Bristol Rotarian, Susan Donovan, State Representative Bristol/Prudence Island District 69, Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.
Welcome aboard, Glenn
DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an association of marketing students that encourages the development of business and leadership skills through academic conferences and competitions. This school year, at Mt Hope High School, we had 26 students compete at the RI DECA Career Development Conference. Of those, 17 placed in the top three of their events with 11 students earning an invitation to compete this April at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando Florida with over 18,000 students. Of the 11 students who qualified, 8 represented RI DECA and competed at the Conference. This is an incredible achievement and the students have worked very hard to attain their goals.
Below are the 8 students who competed. Rear Center, is Maureen Gauthier DECA Advisor for Mt. Hope. To her left is Paul LaFleur, President of Bristol Rotary who delivered Bristol Rotary’s donation to help the team get to Orlando, and far left is Christina Vieira, Bristol Rotarian assisting Paul, who participated in DECA when she was at Mt. Hope as a student.
This year, due to our generous donors, (who have responded to our motto “Help Us Help Others”), Bristol Rotary donated over $40,000 to a variety of charities that help our community. That also includes charities that are helping Ukrainian refugees resettle here - like Dorcas International and the 2nd Baptist Ukrainian Church. The latter, not only helps refugees from the current conflict but also from the takeover of Crimea in 2014. 
Bristol Rotary not only makes donations during the year, but sets aside a Board Meeting in April as our April Giving event - using funds donated to Bristol Rotary from a variety of fundraisers for that purpose.
In the pictures below, one or more Bristol Rotarian is bringing a donation to the representatives of the charity or project. There are some familiar names, but this year we have emphasized several school projects. Due to a shortfall in funds, we donated to supplement the budgets for Art programs at Guiteras, Colt Andrews and Rockwell schools. In addition, we contributed to the DECA program at Mt. Hope HS, the Kickemuit Science Olympiad and, a student competition established by MADD. In the center, is a list of other donations made this year. It includes organizations that help both young and old, mentally challenged or physically challenged by war or relationships, music and art. And, thanks to one Rotarian couple, we even managed to send an ambulance, full of medical supplies and winter clothing, to Ukraine!
It's been a very good year – help us help others - next year.
The KMS Science Team gets a few miles down the road with help from Bristol Rotary
Kerri Krawczyk (front left), the veteran Science Olympiad coach at the Kickemuit School, recently led her team to a spot in the 39thScience Olympiad National Tournament which will take place on May 19 and 20th.  As reported in last week’s Bristol Phoenix, the team is looking for donations to transport the team and parents to Wichita State University, at a cost of approximately $20 to $30 thousand dollars.
Below Paul LaFleur (front right), President of Bristol Rotary, contributes to the ride with a check from Bristol Rotary for $4,000 and encourages other businesses and local organization to help grease the wheels. “We are all  proud of these outstanding local students!”
Sunday, April 30, The Imagine Walk fundraiser, which has been run annually by The Autism Project of Johnston, RI came to Goddard Memorial Park. The Imagine Walk contributes to The Autism Project ‘s mission to “support children to young adults with autism, their families and the many professionals who work to support them. They touch more than 7,500 people each year through their direct programming, training, outreach, and parent consultants.
The Autism Project is a ‘Hub of Hope’ that supports autistic people, their families and caregivers, community members, and educators to build a more neuro-inclusive community for all to be successful. A world where individuals with an autism spectrum disorder are valued participating members of their communities.”
Bristol Rotary raised funds in 2015 – 2016 to bring The Autism Project to the East Bay to provide closer support to the over 2,000 families in the East Bay affected by autism spectrum disorders. Support is still critical, as the rate of children born with autism has grown from 1 in 68 in 2016, to 1 in 36 today – per the CDC.
Below center left is Joanne Quinn Executive Director of The Autism Project, center right is Bruce Cox, President of Bristol Rotary’s Charities Foundation. Also, Bristol Rotary Board Members, left Maria Cesario and right Jacques de Labry.
Ken Watkinson, from Bristol Rotary, working with Tom Carroll, President of Paramedic Systems & Alert Ambulance, managed to donate an Ambulance to be sent to Ukraine through the unique channel of the Second Baptist Ukrainian Church.  The Second Baptist Church through donations, have already sent four large containers to the Ukraine. Bristol Rotarians, Ken & Mary Watkinson, with help from the Bristol Rotary Club, have managed to bring 50 truckloads of supplies for the soldiers and civilians: such as PPE defibrillator, heart monitors, winter jackets, hygiene bags, and warm clothes to the church. The Church in turn packages the goods in containers and sends them to Ukraine.
Alert Ambulance is donating the ambulance and all the necessary equipment inside.   Life of an ambulance in the Ukraine is 60 days. This ambulance will be brought over to the Ukraine via container. Once there, it will be painted in camouflage and will go right into the battlefield to help the wounded. Soldiers are transported from the war zone via pickup truck then they will be placed into the ambulance and brought to the hospital.
The Bristol Rotary also donated $1000 which will go toward obtaining wound VAC kits to be placed in the ambulance.  Vacuum-Assisted Closure kits (VAC) assists in the closure of wounds, a type of therapy to help wounds heal faster.
Below, is Ken and Mary Watkinson (center) delivering the check to Slavik Krishchuk (right) Mission Director for the Second Baptist Church, and his brother Leonid Krishchuk (left), Pastor of the New Life Church in Lutsk, Ukraine.
Chief of Bristol Police Kevin Lynch (left) and Lieutenant Stephen St. Pierre brought a timely and important story to Bristol Rotary Meeting of how to prepare and deal with an active threat to your business, school, property or home. The Chief emphasized that Bristol was named, not only the safest town in Rhode Island, but also the safest University town. However, that doesn't mean that, in this day and age, we should not be better prepared to deal with threats to our well being. Lieut. St. Pierre presented a detailed PowerPoint video reviewing all the stages of such an attack, beginning with being always aware and watchful of your surroundings and people coming into your establishment; how to deal with the threat when it happens (run, hide and fight as the last resort); to how to help the wounded when the police have eliminated the threat. This is an important presentation that should be seen throughout Bristol. Bristol Rotary is making it available to you on this website by clicking below. It will download the presentation on your computer to be watched on your time schedule. Pass it on to your friends and family. Thanks Chief and Lieut. St. Pierre for keeping us safe!
Bristol Rotary is growing! Four new members joined Rotary at the luncheon on March 22, in addition to Chef Sai of DeWolf at the last meeting. Below from left to right are Cesar DaPonte (of Northwest Boats & CC Marine in Bristol ) and his sponsor Maria Cesario, Christina Vieira (Commercial Lines Account Manager of John Andrade Insurance) and her sponsor President Paul LaFleur, Hannah Araujo (Owner of Victoria Flowers) and her sponsor Lisa James, and Dawn Jenkin (Director of Rogers Free Library) and her sponsor Marie Knapman. All new members will make a significant contribution to Bristol Rotary and the community. They will "Help us Help Others."
Rotary International initiated a program asking all Rotary Clubs to offer financial support to Ukraine early in the invasion by having Rotary Clubs all over the U.S. and other countries contribute to Rotary's Disaster Relief Fund. This fund was to be dedicated to Ukraine and and sent to Rotary Clubs in-country as well as in neighboring countries. Bristol Rotary's  members donated over $3,000 at the time. Bristol Rotary wanting to continue the support as more and more refugees were sent to our area, teamed up with  Dorcas International, a local 501(c)(3), dedicated to helping and integrating Ukrainian families locally.  Through a fundraiser, Bristol Rotary was able to contribute to Dorcas for their immediate needs. See near the top of the picture, Paul La Fleur giving a check to Dorcas representatives, the first of checks totaling $5,000. But, that was the beginning, throughout 2022 Bristol Rotary focused on local help to Ukrainians, not only those families arriving during the current conflict, but also those left homeless during the first Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014. Both groups of refugees still had families left behind and were eager to help them too.  Working with the local 2nd Baptist Ukrainian Church, Bristol Rotary led by Ken and Mary Watkinson, Bristol Rotarians, and supported by the Club and other Bristol donors, have collected, packaged, and delivered to the Church over 45 truckloads of medical equipment, hygiene kits, warm clothing, bedding, winter coats and other vital items. The value of these contributions are in the tens of thousands.  These were processed at the church and distributed  to the refugee families with the remainder sent to their families and friends in Ukraine. These shipments in containers were also paid for by donations from many other supporters including Bristol Rotary. The containers make their way into Ukraine by special underground routes using air, trains and trucks. This local support to our local congregation of Ukrainians will continue to be one of Bristol Rotary's charitable projects for "as long as it takes."
At our Bristol Rotary lunch, Lynn Smith (Linden Place Historian) treated us to a fascinating lecture on the history of Bristol, both the ugly slave trade business of the DeWolf family as well as several stories of  the almost 600 enslaved people in Bristol, from it's founding in 1670 to 1808, when the slave trade was officially outlawed. This included Indigenous People who were also enslaved. Linden Place has been reexamining its history as part of the Rhode Island Slave History Medallion Project. They will be sharing the stories that have been uncovered about the house, its inhabitants, and most importantly the enslaved and free black people connected with Linden Place and our community. As part of this project, one goal is to create a safe space at Linden Place to discuss this difficult topic. Lynn had so much to share that she will be invited again to speak at a future meeting. This is not a lecture to miss. Come join us.
Chief Anthony Silva, ret. (left), accompanied  by Kevin Lynch, Chief of Police of Bristol, came to our Rotary meeting to stress the importance of  stopping Impaired Driving. Chief Silva represents the "RI Impaired Driving and Engagement Council." Chief Silva stressed that the car is the most dangerous weapon we have - killing more people in the U.S. (over 35,000 p/a) than any other - even guns! He reiterated all the cautious actions to take when dealing with driving after drinking (the legal limit .08%) or driving after taking marijuana. Or, more importantly what you can do to prevent a friend from doing so. Surprisingly, with the legalization of marijuana in RI, the police have many more tools for identifying alcohol than marijuana abuse while driving.  More tools and standards need to be developed for dealing with marijuana police stops. Chief Kevin Lynch will be speaking to us at a future meeting (March 15) about actions the Bristol Police are taking to protect our businesses and schools in Bristol in the dangerous national environment we're in.  Come to our lunch meeting at DeWolf, lunch is $20. Please send an email to, if you would like to come listen to the Chief.. 
Sai Viswanath, Owner and Executive Chef , of DeWolf Tavern at 259 Thames St, in Bristol, has joined Bristol Rotary as an active member. Sai has hosted Bristol Rotary lunch meetings for the past ten years and was very supportive of Rotary during the Covid years, as we were both challenged to keep going.  By joining Bristol Rotary, Sai wants to participate in the charitable support of our community, which is the mission of Bristol Rotary, as a way of paying back the community that made DeWolf Tavern so successful. Below Sai (center) is being sworn in by Paul LaFleur, President (left) and supported by his sponsor, Jacques de Labry.
The new Executive Director of the East Bay Food Pantry (EBFP), Emily Mushen, briefed us on the impact the EBFP has had in the East Bay during this transition year of 2022. She reiterated their mission to "engage, educate, and empower the East Bay in creating a hunger-free community." She thanked Bristol Rotary for our continued financial support not only last year, with the Food for Kids program, but for our donations at the height of the pandemic, when food insecurity was at its most challenging. See below Emily's further comments and EBFP's incredible performance through out last year. 
Due to budget cuts, Bristol Rotary donated $1,000 each to the three elementary schools in Bristol to restore more fully their art programs. Below, Paul LaFleur presents a check to the school to support the art teacher's program: center picture is Rockwell School, teacher Sarah Jacobs; upper left is Guiteras School, also Sarah Jacobs; upper right Colt Andrews, teacher Lynne Ramos. See full story below.
At the beginning of the holiday vacation period, children in need don't get their meal as school is closed. To meet this need, the East Bay Food Pantry has created a "Food 4 Kids" program, though their funds are strained this year. Here Bristol Rotary President, Paul LaFleur, brings some help with a check for $2,000 to Emily Mushen, Executive Director of the EBFP.
On December 3, Bristol Rotary held their annual fundraiser to fund donations to over 20 local charities that the Club supports every year.  Fun was had by all and just as important, through the generosity of donors and participants, our goal was met and exceeded. Click on Read More to see how to apply for a donation. 
Below on right is President Paul LeFleur giving a check to Diane Sanna, Asst. Superintendent of Bristol Warren Regional School District (center) for the Guiteras School Art Department to supplement their budget for art supplies. On left is Sarah Jacobs, Visual Arts Teacher, for Rockwell and Guiteras Schools, who gave a compelling presentation of the need to continue art programs at these difficult times for her students. 
Above: President Paul (left), Steven Gallo, Operations Manager (center), Maksim Krishchuk (right), Ukrainian Response Coordinator, both of Dorcas International
At Wednesday’s lunch meeting (9/13/22), President Paul LaFleur handed a check to representatives of Dorcas International, a 501c3, who has launched a program to support Ukrainian refugees coming to Rhode Island with a variety of services to ease their relocation. Bristol Rotary has raised close to $8,000 through donations and fundraisers since April 2022 to help Ukraine and Ukrainians both here in RI or through Rotary Clubs in Ukraine and surrounding countries.
For more about information about what Dorcas International of Rhode Island is doing for Ukrainian refugees, click on Dorcas International on the left side of our website ( under "Downloads."  Or click here.
Bristol Rotary has been having its luncheon meetings at DeWolf Tavern for over 10 years. Chef Sai Viswanath has made his restaurant welcoming and the home of Bristol Rotary all those years. And, the food is always excellent! The real test of this relationship was during the pandemic. Despite all the pressures that DeWolf and all the other restaurants faced during Covid, Chef Sai always accommodated Bristol Rotary and the changes we were forced to make. We both did what we could to help each other out.  Here, Elisabeth Habecker, President of Bristol Rotary (fiscal year 2021/2022), offers our thanks the Chef Sai for his unfailing support and hospitality to the Club. On the right, Chef Sai counters with his thanks to Bristol Rotary - at the meeting where a new President, Paul LaFleur, is inducted for fiscal year 2022/2023.
Paul LaFleur is sworn in as the new President of Bristol Rotary for the fiscal year 2022/2023 by Assistant District Governor, Betty Galligan, at the Rotary lunch at DeWolf Tavern. Paul has been a Rotarian for 25 years and has been President 3 times. On the right, is Elizabeth Habecker, former President of Bristol Rotary for fiscal year 2021/2022, and Betty Galligan and Paul.  Lower Right, is John Andrade, President of John Andrade Insurance, who came to honor Paul's induction. John is not only Paul's boss but has been his mentor for decades. John Andrade has been a Rotarian for 59 years and was President of Bristol Rotary in 1965. Welcome Paul!
Joyce Watts, the Director and inspiration for Global Outreach, spoke about their broad services for people in need. Global outreach and its partners are dedicated to putting this mission into action by providing a full range of charitable, human service, educational, religious and community development activities. 
David Harrington, curator of Linden Place, spoke at our Rotary lunch meeting of the evolution of Linden Place from being the home of prominant Bristolians to a center for charitable and artistic events in Bristol. The history of Bristol is embodied in the beautiful house which was the home of DeWolf's, Colt's and Ethel Barrymore, as well as the families and historical activities they represented.
Ken and Mary Watkinson updated us on the situation in Haiti and specifically on the children's school in La Mothe, with over 200 students, that they have been selflessly helping with medicines, clothing and financial support. Bristol Rotary has held several fundraisers in the past to help this cause as well. It is called Haiti's Child.  In short, the situation in Haiti continues to be very dangerous with lawless gangs controlling the country and stealing or attacking any source of money or goods. The Watkinson's have suitcases full of medicines that have not been sent to Haiti for fear that they would be stolen. However, the support continues to be collected here while we continue to find new ways to get it to Haiti. 
Maria Cesario joined Bristol Rotary and is being pinned by President Liz and her sponsor Mary Jo Fidalgo-Tavares. Maria recently retired from Textron where she was Senior Tax Accountant. She has now formed her own tax consulting company, called World Consultancy Services. Maria also continues to serve on the Bristol Fourth of July Committee as Correspondent Secretary. Welcome to Bristol Rotary, Maria.
Our Speaker for our Bristol Rotary lunch on March 16 was Joanne Quinn, Executive Director of The Autism Project, which serves Rhode Island with support services for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. They also train teachers and professionals on methods and practices. In 2015 and 2016, Bristol Rotary teamed up with The Autism Project to fund and create The Autism Project - East Bay Support Center, to bring these services to the under-supported East Bay of Rhode Island. With participation from all the towns in Bristol County, the joint project raised the highest level of donations in Bristol Rotary's history. The Center was opened in September 2015. 
 Zach Rivers, is owner of Judge Roy Bean and he is the President of the Bristol Merchants Association (BMA). He explained that "BMA is an association of Bristol Merchants and organizations who enhance the business environment for the profitability of our members through mutual cooperation by common marketing advocacy, event hosting and sharing of best business practices." In addition, there was discussion of how BMA could help Bristol Rotary help the Community through collaboration on charitable projects.
Margueritte Heenehan, volunteer administrator for many churches and support groups in the community, is being inducted into Bristol Rotary. Here she is being pinned by her sponsor Marilyn Mason, with President Liz Habecker in support.
Chuck MacDonough, the new General Chairman of Bristol's historic 4th of July Celebration, spoke to our Rotary lunch at the also historic DeWolf Tavern. Chuck reviewed the cost and complexities involved in putting on the Celebration. He also summarized  the many fundraising activities to fund the over  $400,000 cost of the event. Become a Sponsor at "".
At our last Bristol Rotary meeting of the year, we celebrated not only the Christmas to come but three fundraising projects we ran to help the community. First, our Local Food for Local Friends program, that over 5 months, distributed 525 meals from local restaurants to grateful seniors from the Senior Center and Franklin Court Independent Living. Second, our Bingo fundraiser at St. Elizabeth's Auditorium that hosted over 160 people who helped raise funds for financial grants (scholarships) for some of our High School graduating Seniors. Lastly, in early December, we distributed Food Gift Certificates for $70 each from Seabra Market to Benjamin Church Senior Center, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bristol Fire Department, and Franklin Court Independent Living.  These gifts will allow the recipients to buy the food they would prefer for Christmas. What ever may be left over from these projects will go to the food pantries in our area.  Considering the kind of year we've had, we are grateful to have accomplished these projects before Christmas.  If you'll notice on the right of the picture, not to be left out, everyone at the lunch brought gifts that we shared with each other.
President Liz, at our December 1 meeting, launched Bristol Rotary's annual Christmas Food Gift Program by giving envelopes each containing gift certificates from Seabra Market worth $70. They will be distributed to the needy in our community by the Benjamin Church Senior Center, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bristol Fire Dept. and Franklin Court Independent Living. Shown in the first picture are Maria Ursini and Donna Wilson from the Senior Center, and in the second picture, Jennifer Mancieri from the Ladies Auxiliary. All donations to purchase the certificates were made by the members of the Bristol Rotary Club. 
Last night, Bristol Rotary held a Bingo Night, for almost 200 people, to raise money for educational grants for our graduating High School students. The evening was successful in providing a fun night for all who came and in raising funds to support our students. Barbara Palumbo masterfully ran the games while the rest of the Rotary team made sure everyone else was having fun - providing food, drink and other games of chance. We look forward to next year! 
Our speaker this week was Jennifer Mancieri, President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bristol Volunteer Fire Dept. This group provides invaluable service to the victims of a fire disaster and to the firemen fighting it. Most significant is the support of the families who have survived such a disaster - by feeding and clothing them and helping to relocate them. In addition, they help the victims with the recovery process; as well as filling out insurance forms to initiate the recovery. They are a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation and gratefully accept donations. 
Bristol Rotary will host a bingo night on November 17, 2021 to raise money for educational Grants to be given to graduating local students. Come help us help them - and enjoy yourselves too! On-line, buy tickets at ""
Glen Donavan a retired RN and Timmy Phongsamphanh a medical student and EMT (originally from Laos), spoke at the Rotary lunch about their involvement in helping a school in Haiti.  The school called "The Land" is for 200 students in the city of La Mothe.  They spoke and showed a movie of the team at the school where they had provided medical support, food, clothing and financial assistance to help them have a more survivable existence. The team also includes two Bristol Rotarians, Mary and Ken Watkinson. Glen also covered the tragedy that Haiti has become over the past few months. 
The new District Governor, William (Billy) Roberts, came to visit Bristol Rotary and praised our accomplishments, our management and our processes.  Billy is Governor of District 7950 which encompasses 65 Rotary Clubs throughout Southeast Massachusetts, Cape Cod, the islands and the State of Rhode Island.  In total the District and it's Clubs have over 2,000 women and men working for their local communities with the guiding principle - "Service above Self."
The Emergency Dialer Program (EDP) is a free service provided by the Town of Bristol for people who want the security of having a button to push to get Emergency Services to their home. It is run by Ed Carusi, Director of Social Services and Welfare and supported by outside donations primarily from Bristol Rotary. The device is installed, typically in the home of an aging or physically impaired person who would like to remain independent knowing that help can be on the way as soon as the button (which can be worn like a necklace) is pushed. EDP is installed and maintained regardless of the financial means of the client - free of charge. The battery backed up device is installed on a land line to insure that it works in a power failure. Many lives have been saved using EDP. Call Ed (401) 253-4831) to order one for you or a loved one, or to find out more. 

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Club Officers & Directors
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BRCF (501(c)(3)) Officers and Directors
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Bruce H. Cox
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Mary Jo Fidalgo-Tavares
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Jacques de Labry
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Maria Cesario
Scott Pickering
Paul LaFleur
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Michelle Hughes
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