Big Brothers Big Sisters - Our former member and past president, Jeff Chin, now Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters spoke to the club on February 5, along with his assistant, Colleen Shroth.
Among the things that Jeff shared was that “Bigs”, as he refers to his agency, has two basic programs: 1) Site Based programs that are based in a school, club or company, and 2) Community Based programs that are more flexible and focus on single pairings of Bigs with their “Littles.”
He noted that many of the Littles come from single parent families, headed by a mother (52%) and 18% have incarcerated parents. Positive roll models are crucial. There is a crying need for Bigs with nearly 50 children presently on a waiting list.
SHS Athletic Field Refurbishment - Michelle Biscotti and Kathleen Keohane addressed the club on February 12th to talk about the need for refurbishing the athletic field at Shrewsbury High School. The problem with the current field is that grass does not offer enough playing time in New England. In order for the field to be useable for full seasons, artificial turf is required. Additionally, artificial turn would extend the use of the field beyond football. It would also make it possible to play games in less than ideal weather conditions.
The project to install and renovate the field is $2.1 million. Of that sum, $1.8 million needs to be raised. Currently fundraising is at $1.3 million.
Rotary Leadership Institute - Owen Russell, club Vice-President, recently attended the Rotary Leadership Institute. Like all who have attended the institute before him, Owen gave a glowing report of this experience. He noted that RLI is not mandatory, as PETS is, but is recognized as valuable by Rotary International.
Owen attended the first of the three part program. It began with breakfast on a Saturday and ran until 3:30 p.m. Subjects covered in part one include: insight into leadership qualities, how individual Rotarians fit into the “world of Rotary,” discussion of ethics of Rotary and vocational service, information on the structure of the Foundation, engaging and mentoring members, and creating service projects.