The Rotary Club of Needham - Welcome

Welcome to Needham! We are a great group of 30 members strong and growing. Men and Women, young and old – we meet for lunch every Tuesday. Our projects focus on giving back to both our community here and beyond.


JOIN US FOR LUNCH!
Tuesdays, 12:00-1:30pm
Needham Sheraton: 100 Cabot Street


With interesting speakers and an energized group
every week, you will come away inspired.

 

 

 
Home Page Stories
Rotary Club of Needham Newsletter June 30th, 2020
 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and mandatory social distancing, most of our volunteer opportunities and community support activities have been postponed. In response, we've continued to fund local and international charities. We've continued to meet on Tuesdays at noon. But, to maintain social distancing, our meetings have moved on-line. 
 
In Our Local and Global Communities:
At our last zoom meeting, Needham Rotarian Sylvia Kiggundu (originally from Uganda) told us about the challenging times her home village of Bujuuko is experiencing.  They normally have food security / hunger issues and COVID has made things worse.  She is collecting money to help feed people in her village.  For $10 you can feed a person for a week.  It would be awesome if you would consider making a donation through her gofundme page.  Any sized donation is welcome.  The link is:  https://gf.me/u/x3xvy4.  
 
 
Speaker: Lynn Holmlund (photo below), Marketing Director, IDG Inc.
 
 
We welcome IDG, Inc. to Needham. IDG Inc. is relocating this coming January from three buildings in Framingham to 140 Kendrick Street in Needham, the space by Cutler Park formerly occupied by PTC, Inc. IDG is the world's leading technology, media, data and marketing services company. Through the publication of expert reviews of new technology, they connect buyers of tech with sellers of tech. Founded in 1967, IDG has 300 employees in over 100 offices worldwide, with 600 employees working at company headquarters in Framingham. IDG is an acronym for International Data Group. This private company is organized into two business segments: IDC generates media content and consumer technology market intelligence with 1000 analysts offering global, regional and local expertise on technology and industry trends in over 100 countries. The second segment distributes the content: IDG Communications is a trusted source of technical insights and product reviews that connect tech vendors with informed buyers. Brands include: "CIO", "Computer World", "PC World", "Mac World", "Info World", and "Tech Hive". The basic business model is: tech buyers pay subscriptions for the content and tech sellers pay for advertisements to reach the buyers. But, there are other business segments that offer digital distribution, data and lead analysis and a segment that organized over 325 tech events and conferences for over 20,000 delegates in 2019.
 
IDG looked at space in Boston and Cambridge before deciding on Needham. The company originally wanted to gather all headquarters employees under one roof. The difficulty of commuting into the city and the connectivity of Needham to the T and route 128 were factors in locational decision making. The need for social distancing due to the coronavirus added to the suburban impulse in that many employees are going to be more comfortable working from home until there's a vaccine or herd immunity. The amenity of the site by Cutler Park also helped: employees anticipate using the recreation trails and nearby restaurants.
 
Welcome IDG!
 
Next Week's Speaker: Liz Adler, Esq., Beacon Law Group, on employment law, including the issues employers face in reopening after quarantine.
 
 
Rotary Club of Needham Newsletter June 23rd, 2020
 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and mandatory social distancing, most of our volunteer opportunities and community support activities have been postponed. In response, we've continued to fund local and international charities. We've continued to meet on Tuesdays at noon. But, to maintain social distancing, our meetings have moved on-line. 
 
In Our Community:
 
  • We held our socially distant, pandemic compliant Summer Picnic on Tuesday June 16th (photos below).
 
  • A plaque was erected (see photo below) at the Tynan School in South Boston acknowledging the outstanding contributions from the Rotary Clubs of Needham and Neponsit Valley, our own Libby Pero and her employer, Capron Lighting and Sound Company, and  Perfect Piece to the creation of the Ambassador Raymond Flynn Sensory Room.
 
Speaker:
 
Dan Tibma, Lobsterman
 
 
Our President, Dan Tibma (predator photo on the left above; prey on the right), made a Zoom presentation to the club on his pursuit of savory summer dinners. He and Sharon have a Recreational Lobstering License that allows them to place up to 10 traps. The need to service the traps a couple of times per week gives them an excuse to go out on the briny water at the mouth of the South River in Marshfield in their motorboat. The season started strong, they've caught 31 lobsters this year, but an infestation of large, Lions Mane jellyfish has coincided with a reduced haul lately. Dan intends to outfox the jellies by dropping traps in the deeper waters out past where the mouth of the river enters Massachusetts Bay. To deter theft, each licensed boat carries a uniquely painted buoy that matches the buoys marking the location of its traps. The license number is stenciled on the trap. Dan and Sharon also have a Clamming License, but that is a story for another day.
 
Next Week's Speaker:
 
Lynn Holmlund, Marketing Director of International Data Group, Inc. on the relocation of IDG's headquarters and 600 jobs to Needham by the shores of Cutler Pond.
Rotary Club of Needham Newsletter June 2nd, 2020
 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and mandatory social distancing, most of our volunteer opportunities and community support activities have been postponed. In response, we've continued to fund local and international charities. We've continued to meet on Tuesdays at noon. But, to maintain social distancing, our meetings have moved on-line. 
 
In Our Community:
 
Lois Sockol turns 87! Happy Birthday! Still protesting for justice!
 
 
Socially Distant Rotary Club Summer Picnic: at Claxton Field in Needham at 5:30pm on Tuesday, June 16th. Bring your own food and chairs.
 
 
Speaker: Igor Golyak, Artistic Director, Arlekin Players, on Adapting the Performing Arts to Quarantine (postponed due to a scheduling conflict as our discussion below ran a little longer than anticipated)
 
Igor Golyak founded the Arlekin Players Theater in 2009. Mr. Golyak received a masters degree in directing from the Russian Academy of Theater Arts in 2004 and an acting degree from Moscow's Schukin Theater Institute. He is an Associate Professor at the Boston Conservatory, and he has taught as a guest lecturer at Boston University, Harvard University and Wellesley College. He leads acting classes and directs plays at his studio on Hillside Avenue in Needham. The Arlekin Players Theater is rooted in the traditions of classical and contemporary Russian theater. Dance, spoken word, performance art and modern music blend to make unique and memorable productions in English and Russian with subtitles. This is their 10th season, but the Covid-19 pandemic has closed all theaters, and their entire season was cancelled. The Annual Gala, an important fundraiser, was postponed. Through the generosity of their Board and Supporters, a deficit of ($37,000) has been reduced to ($7,500). The Arlekin Emergency Fund seeks contributions to close the final portion of the deficit. Running as a free, live, interactive, on-line performance from May 17th through June 28th is, "State v Natasha Banina" by Yaroslava Pulinovich. For more information on how to make donations and on upcoming performances, visit the Arlekin Players Theater website: http://www.arlekinplayers.com.
 
Eight days before our meeting, a black man named George Floyd was killed during his arrest in Minneapolis when a white policeman held him down with a knee to his neck until long after he became unresponsive, despite his pleas that he couldn't breathe. No attempt was made to resuscitate Mr Floyd, who died at the scene. A bystander recorded and publicized the event to social media, which -following public outcry- resulted in the arrest of the police officer for second-degree murder. The three officers who assisted in the arrest were eventually charged with abetting second-degree murder. Perhaps because the people of the United States have been quarantined for months, perhaps because of the long history of police brutality against blacks ( a 2019 study by the National Academy of Sciences showed that black people are 2.5x more likely to be killed by police than are white folk), perhaps because the President's comments lacked empathy ("I am your President of law and order"), the nation exploded in the most widespread protests of racial injustice since the sixties. So far -Mr Floyd's Memorial Service is today- , 17 people have died, 12 major US cities have declared a curfew, 11,000 people have been arrested and 17,000 National Guard troops have been activated. Before the meeting, everyone allowed that they were upset about events as they have unfolded. So, cherishing trust and hope in our national ideals and institutions, we discussed the disturbing events:
  • Bill Paulson offered Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream speech from 1963: 
    • "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character".
  • ​​​​​​​Lois Sockol offered the "Golden Rule": 
    • ​​​​​​​"Love your neighbor as yourself".  (Leviticus 19:18)
    • "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". (Matthew 7:12)
  • Bruce Field offered that it's impossible for a white person to understand the discrimination experienced by black people, so we should ask questions, like: what can we do to help?
  • I offer former President Obama's hope-filled speech on Wednesday about the unrest at an online town hall:
    • ​​​​​​​"You look at those protests (the George Floyd protests), that was a far more representative cross-section of America, out on the streets, peacefully protesting, who felt moved to do something because of the injustices that they've seen. That kind of broad coalition didn't exist in the sixties."
    • "Every step of progress in this country, every expansion of freedom, every expression of our deepest ideals has been won through efforts that made the status quo uncomfortable. And, we should all be thankful for people who are willing in a peaceful, disciplined way to be out there making a difference."
    • ​​​​​​​Addressing young, black men, he said: "I hope that you feel hopeful even as you may feel angry. You have communicated a sense of urgency that is as powerful and transformative as anything I have seen in recent years."
Next Week's Speaker: Meet the 2020 Rotary Club of Needham Scholarship Winner!
Rotary Club of Needham Newsletter May 26th, 2020
 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and mandatory social distancing, most of our volunteer opportunities and community support activities have been postponed. In response, we've continued to fund local and international charities. We've continued to meet on Tuesdays at noon. But, to maintain social distancing, our meetings have moved on-line. 
 
In Our Community:
 
Our recent speaker, Chef Mike, gave away 640 meals on May 21st to low income families and assisted living facilities in Needham. The Rotary Club of Needham contributed $250 to help pay his expenses.
 
Socially Distant Rotary Club Summer Picnic: at Claxton Field in Needham at 5:30pm on Tuesday, June 16th.
 
 
Speakers:
 
1.) Salsa Club members from Needham High School: "What it's like to attend a virtual high school during the pandemic", and
 
2.) Jeff Dineen (photo "zooming" below) describes his "Cans for Calcium" program.
 
 
 Karen Shannon, Senior Program Director, Needham Public Health Division, moderated the club's discussion. The SALSA Club, Students Advocating Life without Substance Abuse, was organized to teach students in Needham Schools how to say no to drugs and alcohol. During the "Question and Answer" section at the end, the students said that "substance abuse is a social thing", that quarantine has made parties impossible and forced a temporary reduction in youth substance abuse. So, the current focus of the club's activity has shifted to finding positive ways to stay occupied during the pandemic. Our discussion was: what it's like to attend a virtual high school during the coronavirus quarantine.
 
First, they addressed the current learning process. Most students said that they are devoting as much time to schoolwork as they did before the quarantine; working from home about six hours a day. Assignments are available on-line on Sundays for completion by the following Friday. Remote learning has been effective, but with two caveats: it's harder and more time-consuming now to get extra help from a teacher, and lab classes don't work well online. From the students' point of view, the most onerous impact of the quarantine has been on the social lives of the students, especially seniors. Students are connecting with their friends using Zoom, gathering separately in cars, or working out or walking while maintaining social distance. Upperclassmen rituals: Senior Skip Day, Prom and the traditional Graduation Ceremony, are all cancelled. 
 
Happily, there will be a lockdown appropriate "Graduation Parade" from the Trip Advisor parking lot to Needham High School on June 7th. The Seniors were philosophical: "virtual is the best we can do" this year. They advised their parents and caregivers not to be too anxious about a celebration, they're ready to move on. The discussion closed with the students asking us to join them doing something positive during our confinement. They are making a montage of short videos about positive uses of quarantine time to post on the Needham Facebook page. They are asking for people to participate by sending their videos to: http://www.needhamstrong2020@gmail.com by May 30th. For more information about the SALSA Club:http://www.spanneedham.org.
 
Jeff Dineen, who is "almost" a lifetime resident of Needham, told us about his "Cans for Calcium" program. First, there was the opportunity: recycling incentive deposits that we pay when buying a beverage. Unclaimed deposits resulted in $46mm going to the state of Massachusetts in 2017. Then, there were two catalysts: when he retired three years ago, he had been spending $1,000 per month of his own money to buy milk for the Needham Food Pantry. And then, he noticed an unused shed at the Needham Recycling and Transfer Station. Together with Sandy Robinson of Needham's Community Council, they met with Greg Smith, Superintendant of the transfer station and got permission to use the shed. Since starting to gather donated containers beside the recycling bins in March of 2019, Jeff has collected about 280,000 deposit cans and bottles, which has raised $14,000 to purchase milk for the Needham Food Pantry. When the quarantine started, the shed was closed. Undaunted, Jeff started collecting cans for calcium using bins at the end of his driveway at 1625 Great Plain Avenue. Starting this week, the shed at the transfer station has reopened, and we can again conveniently donate our cans for calcium there. For more information: http://www.needhamcommunitycouncil.org
 

Next week's speaker: Igor Golyak, Artistic Director, Arlekin Players, on Adapting the Performing Arts to Quarantine
Rotary Club of Needham Newsletter May 19th, 2020
 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and mandatory social distancing, most of our volunteer opportunities and community support activities have been postponed. In response, we've continued to fund local and international charities. We've continued to meet on Tuesdays at noon. But, to maintain social distancing, our meetings have moved on-line. 
 
Speakers: 1.) State Senator Becca Rausch on her 2020 Vote-By-Mail bill, and
2.) Torry Katsiroubas Stamm of Katsiroubas Brothers Wholesale Fruit and Produce on their Katsiroubas Cares Produce Boxes
 
Senator Rausch (photo left above) discussed the "emergency" bill that she introduced in April to facilitate safe voting by mail during the Coronavirus epidemic. Five states, including: Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii and Utah already automatically send ballots to the addresses of registered voters before elections. The Senator's bill would require the Secretary of the Commonwealth to send a ballot package to every registered voter at least 18 days in advance of a scheduled election. Each ballot package would contain: 1) an official ballot, 2) a secrecy envelope, 3) a prepaid return envelope addressed to the clerk of the town where the voter is registered, and 4) instructions in English, Spanish and three other languages. There would be a warning included about penalties for voter fraud, and the voter would be required to return a signed affidavit attesting that they did not commit voter fraud. 
 
Voters could still choose to vote in person, and the bill would require the provision of personal protective equipment to poll workers, if the state of emergency due to the coronavirus is still in place at the time of the election. The bill would also establish the first Tuesday in November as a holiday. The 2020 Vote By Mail law is a response to the emergency situation imposed by the coronavirus, so it is written with an expiration date of December 31st, 2020. For the full text of the bill, search in Google for malegislature.gov/bills/s.2654. Senator Rausch's official email address is: Becca.Rausch@masenate.gov.
 
Torry Katsiroubas Stamm (photo right above) owns a wholesale produce business, Katsiroubas Brothers, with her brother. The Katsiroubas siblings grew up in Needham, and Torry still lives here. They operate a 100,000 square foot, refrigerated warehouse out of Hyde Park with 200 employees, 70 trucks picking up and delivering within a 180 mile radius, and 1000 customers. They act as a middleman between farms and restaurants, which were about 80% of their business until the coronavirus quarantine. When all restaurants closed, they had to redirect a tidal wave of produce. Breaking the produce volume down into smaller, $25 Katsiroubas Cares produce boxes allowed their business to find retail customers. Each $25 box contains about $40-50 retail value of 3 to 5 items of each category of fruit, vegetables and greens (see photo below). Retail customers can order the produce boxes on line. They've established curbside pickup to serve their new, retail customers in Braintree, Needham, Roslindale, Beverly, Revere, Hamilton, and Quincy. In Needham, customers pick up their produce boxes once a week (Thursdays between 1:00-4:30) in the Newman School parking lot. The boxes are so popular that Needham customers are assigned time slots for pickup based on the alphabetical order of the first letter of their last name. 
 
While ordering, customers can donate the $25 produce boxes to the Needham Community Council, the Chelsea Collaborative or the Charles River Health Center in Brighton. Katsiroubas Brothers delivers the donated produce boxes to these locations. About 400 produce boxes have been donated so far to the Needham Community Council. To order or donate a Katsiroubas Cares produce box on-line: https://hello.katsiroubasproduce.com
 
 
 
Next week's speakers: 1.) members of the Needham High School Salsa Club will address what it's like to attend a virtual high school during the pandemic, and
2.) Jeff Dineen will tell us about his "Cans for Calcium" program that collects deposit cans and bottles and donates the proceeds to purchase milk for the Needham Food Pantry.
Speakers
The Needham Channel
Jul 14, 2020 12:00 PM
The Needham Channel - What are they and how do they work?
Needham Diversity Initiative
Jul 28, 2020 12:00 PM
Diana Nestorova, District 7910 Governor
Aug 18, 2020
What's new in Rotary
NO MEETING:
Nov 24, 2020

Bulletin Subscribe

Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.

 
Upcoming Events