President’s Message

Fellow Rotarians:

“Sometimes nothing is better than something.” ~Anonymous

One of the tried and true ingredients of our Rotary meetings is the speakers program. We have had a steady diet of thought provoking guests from the scholarly to the plodders, from the munificent to the entrepreneurial. Sometimes they arrive with fancy power point presentations while others regale us with nothing more than a booming voice and quick wit.  More than once a technological glitch has caused Dick or Jim to scramble to rescue our performer from an embarrassing flop.

Intermittently we forgo a guest speaker in favor of the dreaded “classification talk.” Dreaded mainly by the new Rotarian who is forced to stand before the members and explain him or herself. This is actually a favorite among the listeners who get to learn not only about the newcomer’s occupation but also their background and interests and sometimes the events and experiences that have shaped their lives. On still other occasions like pie day, we have no speaker at all but devote the time to raising funds for the Rotary Foundation while having a little fun; the same for our upcoming matchbox car race.

But sometimes, like this past week, our speaker just doesn’t show up. Hmph! Rather than panic or end the weekly communal early, we seem to find topics within our own ranks for lively discussion, often sprinkled with good humor and a few friendly jabs. I can recall one meeting where, left devoid of a program, I called upon Evan to talk about his job as tennis pro at Cedardale.  Perhaps it was the mischievous half smile that adorned his face or the colorful language that he used to describe the legions of ladies that he mentors each week, but the moment was pure entertainment, right down to the point where he admitted never having played pickle ball after vigorously promoting its benefits.

In the same predicament last week, and in Cleary-like fashion, Joe gave an entertaining yet knowledgeable look back in Red Sox history sprinkled with a couple of vignettes involving a prominent local tradesman and ex-Hillie quarterback who threw a pic six to the Golden Greek, Harry Agganis. Then, with a little prodding, Terry revealed an impromptu fish tale from one of the legendary and furtive Davis-Beaton-Stark fishing trips that have, for many years, included numerous Rotarians from multiple generations. Meanwhile, Melissa gave us chapter two in the “why I don’t like the host of Family Feud” trilogy, and Nicole gave an inspirational inside look at some of the good things that are going on at CRC.

Well time flies when you’re having a good time and before we knew it the half hour past one o’clock was nigh upon us and the greatly anticipated raffle was on deck. With $1,112 hanging in the balance and John Cuneo calling out the number, Mr. Goddu eagerly made his way to the podium producing the winning ticket #7770. President Veasey deftly shuffled the remaining cards then fanned them like a Vegas pro. Steve, did not hesitate and with the dexterity of a horn playing, wine loving, riverboat gambler, drew the Ace o’ Clubs. What a meeting!

Our Rotary Club’s Succession

My term as president concludes at the end of this month when I pass the gavel to a new Rotary Club president. As you know Stacey as our president-elect would normally assume the office under usual circumstances. However, as most of us have experienced at one time or another, our lives sometimes take an abrupt detour that interrupts the best laid plans.

As it happens, Stacey’s career with Santo Insurance has unexpectedly resulted in new responsibilities that will required her full attention in the immediate future, to a degree that she has asked to defer her term as president indefinitely.

After consulting with our Board and with Melissa Cerasuolo, who is in line to be Stacey’s VP and president-elect, we have determined that Melissa should advance immediately into the role of President for the 2017-2018 year. Although Melissa is fairly new to the Haverhill Rotary Club she was a Rotarian for a several years in Amesbury and is no stranger to the time and energy required to fulfill the office.

Thank you Stacey for your forthright approach to unforeseen circumstances, and congratulations Melissa, you have our unqualified support.

Last week:

Attendance: 33


President Art reported that he had the distinct privilege to present the 2017 Donald Beaton Rotary Scholarship Award to Leonid Belyi at the Pentucket Regional High School Senior Awards Ceremony on Wednesday evening.

The Ken Smith Inaugural Matchbox Car Race: Art displayed his entry, the #88 Ken Smith Special with dual quads and a tunnel-ram intake. Art wishes Ken was here to explain what all that means.

Scott Cote announced that visiting hours to pay respects to Kendall Smith will be June 6 at the Rogers Funeral Home in Monument Square. A Celebration of Life will be held on June 7 at DiBurro’s. The Paul C. Rogers Funeral Home has details.

June 15: Rotary After Hours at President Art’s home at 3 Summer Sweet Lane, West Newbury. Bring your spouse, your significant other and, if you can, bring a friend whom you think might make a good Rotarian.

Rotary District 100th Anniversary Golf Tourney June 5 at the Wenham Golf Club. Megan and Eva will represent us in this fun outing.

Jeanne: HVM received a $2,600 grant so that her students can begin designing an original Dale Rogers, Jr. sculpture.

Beverly: Reserve June 8 for the annual Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Dinner.

Happy $$$

Gretchen: $100K Cummings Grant for Emmaus + she just returned from Nashville

Terry: for his annual fishing trip in Maine.

Tim: for his first fundraiser and the Tim Jordan for Haverhill Campaign Kick-off at the Peddler’s Daughter.

Melissa: In appreciation for Greg DiBurro’s life saving efforts to rescue a dog in distress from Great Bay near Portsmouth

Rick: Because his son is home and visiting from Miami

Art: for John Cuneo’s presence and for daughter Helen’s M.Ed. awarded by Lesley U.

Matt: bought a new car.

Raffle: See above


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