President’s Message

Fellow Rotarians:

Every year on the third Monday of April we lucky Bay Staters get to celebrate Patriots Day as the only state in the country to earn an extra day to file and pay our income taxes. But there’s more to the story than just one day off.

As Massachusetts grade school students we all recited Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem about the Battle of Lexington and Concord: “Here once the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world.” What you may not know is that locally on that fateful day in 1775 Nehemiah Emerson was working on the roof of Deacon Dodge’s house at the corner of Main and Vestry Street when the alarm was sounded. Legend has it that he hurried home to change his clothes and made all due haste to the scene of the action along with a company of Haverhill men.

On April 19, 1917 in the midst of a patriotic fervor stirred by America’s declaration of War against Germany, several thousand people gathered in front of City Hall to witness a momentous flag–raising the likes of which had never before been observed in the city of Haverhill. The flag, 26’ x 36’ was the largest ever to be flown in the city and was greeted with cheers, the sounding of automobile horns, and tumultuous applause.

In 1958 Tony Sapienza crowned a distinguished running career finishing fourth at the Boston Marathon. Tony worked for 27 years as a teacher at Haverhill High School and coached indoor and outdoor track, cross country and the math team. He headed the HHS math department from 1974 until his untimely death in 1987.

In 2013 I won one of the Rotary Club’s sports drawings claiming a pair of second row seats to the traditional 11:00 a.m. Patriots Day start at Fenway Park. My daughter Helen and I enjoyed a Red Sox triumph before slowly making our way among the throngs of Marathon spectators and cheery Fenway fans in Kenmore Square where we eventually boarded the T bound for North Station. When our Green-line car was terminated without explanation we ascended the escalator to Arlington Street where we were surrounded by the unforgettable sights and sounds of the chaotic scene created by two bombs detonated at the finish line.

Last week:

Steve Bowen introduced his guest Lisa Clark from

Antonio Calvagno, a visiting Rotarian from Catania, Sicily delighted the Club with his engaging smile, friendly remarks, and animated demeanor.


Jim Traver proclaimed June 15 as the date for the annual but hereafter-named “Ken Smith” matchbox car race in support of the Rotary Foundation. Anyone who has donated or plans to donate $100 or more to this year’s Foundation Fund raising efforts gets to participate in this fun event. See Harry or Jim for details.

Community Meals - April 24 at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome Street: Deliver your baked goods between 4:00 and 4:30 and roll up your sleeves: Sven Amirian, Rick Atwood, Buddy Baker, Bev Donovan, Allison Field, Ira Korinow, Harry Korslund, Matthew Martin, Frank Novak, Jean Poth, Dale Rogers, Nicole Sammartino, Dave Shaw, Evan Sideman, Jared Stewart, Dick Sundell, Chuck Traver, Art Veasey

Next week: Our own Tracy Fuller from the YMCA will be our speaker.

Happy $$$

Hy is glad to be back!

Melissa is going on the television game show Family Feud with four other Cerasuolo family members. “Survey says!”

Megan is happy that Hy is back.

Jeanne for the nice lunch!

Ira is also grateful that Hy is back.

Arturo: ditto for Highgaz

Scott: Mass Banker travel $$$ from St. Thomas, VI.

Speaker: Melissa gave a splendid power point presentation on HAVERHILL BETTER BLOCKS. This is a downtown initiative to display what an ideal downtown block could look like by transforming one single block for a Saturday May 6 celebration from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Sign up to help sweep the block clean in preparation for the event on Tuesday the 2nd or Wednesday the 3rd. See Melissa or email Jason Braddock at:

Raffle: Art held the winning ticket but left the jackpot intact. Now well north of $800!!!


Officers & Directors

• President Arthur Veasey

• President Elect Stacey Bruzzese

• Past President Michel van Ravestyn

• Treasurer Bill Kleuber

• Assistant Treasurer Greg DiBurro

• Secretary Dick Sundell

• Sargent At Arms Buddy Baker

• Assistant Sergeant at Arms Greg DiBurro

• Membership Chair Michel van Ravestyn

• Foundation Chair Harry Korslund

• Programs/Speaker Chair Stacey Bruzzese

• Greeter Greg DiBurro

• Assistant Greeter

• Director Melissa Cerasuolo

• Director at Large Greg DiBurro

• Director at Large Greg Stark

• Director at Large Jean Poth