On Veterans Day, the Brookfields Rotary Club partnered with the West Brookfield Senior Center and the Friends of the West Brookfields Senior Center to provide a “Curbside Pancake Breakfast” to local veterans. Two of the volunteers, including Rotary President Lynn Duffy-O’Shea, are seen here preparing the bags for delivery.
Wrapping up a project that began in August, Brookfields Rotary and its partners now have assembled and delivered over 125 protective Plexiglass desk shields to seven Elementary schools in our area. The schools receiving shields are located in Brookfield, East Brookfield, North Brookfield, Spencer (Wire Village), Sturbridge (Burgess), Warren, and West Brookfield.
These shields were made possible by the collaboration of two Rotary Clubs, Brookfields and Sturbridge; our non-profit partner Angels Answer, Inc.; our business partner on the project, Country Auto Body in North Brookfield; and several generous donors. The shields were constructed over several weeks from high quality components. We are grateful to volunteer Ron Lapointe for his help in securing and cutting the Plexiglass.
We asked Rotary project leader Mark Minnuccci, an official in the North Brookfields School District, to comment on the value of the shields to our local schools.
“This project really shows how Rotary works. Brookfields Rotary assembled a collaborative team that has provided additional equipment which not only helps with safety but also gives staff and teachers peace of mind that they can deliver services to students. It has been invaluable to my District and other Districts in the greater Brookfield area.”
Lynn Duffy-O’Shea, President of Brookfields Rotary, spoke about the project and its reception in the schools.
“In this difficult time, where in-person activities are limited, being able to come together safely to cut and assemble Plexiglass protective shields with our partnering club, the Sturbridge Rotary Club, was amazing. Everyone working outdoors as a team, while maintaining safe distances and masks to make this project come together in a fast and efficient way, was key so that the finished shields could be delivered to the schools as soon as possible. The Principals and staff were overjoyed with happiness and thankfulness of Rotary’s continued support to the needs of the community schools.”
The enthusiasm of local school leaders is represented in this note from Burgess Elementary School Nurse, Lisa Meunier:
“Thank you so very much for your hard work and wonderful design of the desk shields! They are far superior to the type we have purchased and much appreciated. I have shared them with our speech therapists, OT therapists, reading and math specialists who work with individual students, our psychologists who do testing and our guidance counselors. The design is perfect and the only type we have found that allows for passing of paper or objects under the shield - very important for all of them!! They were all very excited to receive them! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and determination to make things better and support our school during this challenging time. It is so nice to have your support and interest in the success of our students and school community. Thanks to all of you! Lisa Meunier”
The Brookfields Rotary Club extends its appreciation to everyone who contributed to the success of this project and to making the return to school safer for the students and faculty.
Brookfields Rotary is a service organization of Rotary International. The club’s more than 20 business and professional leaders provide humanitarian and social services to residents in the Quaboag Valley communities of the Brookfields, Spencer and Warren. Please support our generous sponsors.
A satisfied customer from the Warren Elementary School. More photos appear below
It was All Hands on Deck
Brookfields Rotarian Mark Minnucci is spearheading an effort to provide protective Plexiglass shields to the North Brookfield Schools, where Mark is the Director of Student Services. Using a design found on Google and modified in his own workshop, he reached out to local businesses and his Rotary club. Brookfields Rotary and its community partners now have collaborated to create dozens of table shields for the upcoming school year. School will resume in the district using a hybrid model next week.
Working with its non-profit partner, Angels Answer Inc, Rotary is coordinating this effort as part of our on-going commitment to school PPE, which began in July with our distribution of thousands of protective facemasks. The club already has donated $200 to cover the cost of 15 shields, and our community partner, Country Auto Body in North Brookfield, generously pitched in with 16 additional shields. These grass roots contributions will save the school district hundreds of dollars and provide the students and staff with added protection while they deliver vital services.
How can you help? Brookfields Rotary is seeking donations to make more table shields and expand the program to the other two school districts in our service area. Leaders in those districts have expressed interest in receiving shields. Your donation in any amount will help. The materials cost per shield ranges from $15 - $25 depending on the quality and size of the Plexiglass. Financial donations as well as materials donations will help. Send your contributions to Brookfields Rotary, PO Box 733, Warren, MA 01083. To arrange for a materials donation, call Mark Minnucci at 978-846-3552.
In the photo, Mark and Grace Brinn, a Speech and Language Pathologist assistant in North Brookfield, demonstrate how the new shields will be used. Seen on our home page with Mark delivering more shields is Amanda Perrone of Country Auto Body. Special thanks also to Shane Chabot owner of Country Auto Body for having the Country Auto Body team cut, drill and assemble 16 plexiglass shields.
Our deepest appreciation goes to our project partners and to Mark for his initiative. This collaborative community effort represents “service above self” in the purest Rotary tradition.
Brookfields Rotarian Bob Wicks recently was named the District "Rotarian of the Year" for the Central Mass and Metro West District. District Governor Pamela Anastasi announced her decision at the virtual District Installation a couple of weeks ago and personally delivered the award to Bob last week. Bob served on her leadership team as the District Executive Secretary.
Bob commented that "In the end, no one achieves good things alone. I am deeply appreciative to Pam and her organizational leaders for their partnership and support throughout the year."
Last week, our area Rotary clubs accepted a donation of 4,000 PPE masks from a Rotary club in Connecticut. These masks will be distributed to our local schools to assist them in their plans to reopen.
Many more thousands of masks from this donation will be delivered to clubs throughout our Central Mass Rotary District.
Brookfields and Sturbridge Rotary are working collaboratively to assist our local schools get much needed PPE as they prepare to reopen in the Fall. In addition to the masks, the clubs are working on a joint Rotary Foundation matching grant to acquire hand sanitizer.
Seen in the photo are District Governor Pam Anastasi, Brookfields Rotary President Elect Lynn Duffy-O'Shea, Sturbridge Rotarian Glenys Hachfeld, Sturbridge President Klaus Hachfeld, and Brookfields Treasurer Terry McCarthy,
On hand last week at Brookfields Rotary was our scholarship recipient for 2019. Samantha Lacey of West Brookfield is attending the prestigious University of Vermont in Burlington where she hopes to complete her studies in 3 ½ years.
A graduate of Quaboag Regional High School, Sam’s collegiate learning focus is on social science and human welfare. She participates in a scholarship program and completed two research papers last semester, on the key issues of gender inequality and the effect of minimum wage on capitalism. She also is active in on-campus activities and holds an off-campus job.
Upon graduation, Sam plans to enter the field of political communication. She already is certified to work on the campus radio station.
Seen in the photo are club Secretary and Scholarship Chair Joy Rehfeld, Sam Lacey, and President Elect Lynn Duffy-O’Shea.
To learn how you can get involved, helping local youth like Samantha and taking action to improve our communities, stop in as our guest to any regular Thursday evening meeting at 6 pm in Ye Olde Tavern, West Brookfield. You will find our schedule on this site. You also can follow us on Facebook.