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Administration Login
The Guilford Rotarian - Current Dec 2, 2022
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Wednesday, November 30, 2022



The Rotary Club of Guilford, CT  


                          The Guilford Rotarian                    



Thomas Terribile


Directors at Large


Dawn Jackson

        William Fatula 22-23


Stephanie Jacobs

        Wayne Staschke 22-24 

Attendance Secretary


        Patricia Todd (22-22

Exec. Secretary

Gary Drake

        Larry Appleton  (21-22


Elmar Kessler

        Paul Heeren (19-22

Assistant Treasurer

Patrick Pascale

        Heidi Saamuelson (19-22

IP President


  Co-Sergeants at Arms

Foundation Chair

Michael Ganci

         Allen B. Jacobs

Grants Steward





 Rotary Bulletin: November 30, 2022  


This Issue’s Editor: Jack Phelan


Door Greeter: Sam Appleton


Call to Meeting:  Pledge of Allegiance: Dawn Jackson


Visiting Rotarians: None


Guests: Jerry Buonanno, Eileen Clark and guest speakers: Anne Merola,  North Branford Rotary Club and Maryann and Ralph Stroup, Rotary Literacy International Grant, Ngwesi Community Kenya


Upcoming Speakers for December:  

  • December 7 – breakfast meeting
  • December 14 – Sr. Luncheon at the Community Center
  • December 21 – Speaker TBD
  • December 28 – No meeting – Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

President Announcements:

  • Congratulations!  We donated almost $800 in food gift cards to Guilford Social Services so they can add this to their town effort to help those who need assistance for holiday food preparation.
  • We had a discussion of the idea of a Rotary Club holiday party for December 10 but it was decided to postpone this until next year and plan for an appropriate date far in advance so members can put it on their schedule earlier.   
  • Dawn mentioned the John Van Steenbergen family went to the Christmas spectacular in New York City Music Hall this past weekend.  We are looking at furniture for the family and Steph and Kyle agreed to help Dawn to go shopping at IKEA.
  • Members reported that Rick Maynard is doing well and walking around with a chrutch after knee surgery. Thank all those who are delivering meals to Rick.


Member Announcements

  • Tom Terribile: Thanked all those who helped out on November 19th to bag about 100 turkeys and gifts for the needy families in Guilford.   People who helped out included: Pat Todd, Winnie Seibert, Stax, Susie Burnett, Tony, Tom and Al (hope I did not miss anyone)
  • Pete Webster: Frosty 5K:  Peter announced that the race is 4 weeks away; signs are ready and will be distributed around town.  Next week’s breakfast meeting will be devoted to the Frosty5K race.    
  • Warm the Children: Larry announced that the Warm the Children project is off and running.  Thanks to all who helped out with this event.
  • Al Jacobs: Holliday luncheon for Guilford seniors (except club members) will take place on Dec 14th.  All is going well.  We meet at 9:15 am on Dec 13th to pack 200 gift bags at the Community Center.  If we can get 15 or so members there we will finish within 2 hrs.  The club pays for the cost of the luncheon that usually runs to about $2,500.

A sign-up sheet was passed around for people to help out setting up for the luncheon starting around 9:30 am for  clean up starting around 1:30.  Al reminded members that they should park around the Guilford Green instead of the Community Center.     

  • Riefe: Reported on the progress of corporate donations.  He is shooting for $20,000.  Members announced recent donations and suggested the name of new firms to be contacted.
  • Riefe: Reminded members that on Dec 14th we go to the Apple Rehab to sing at 6 pm.  We meet at KC’s Pub at 5:15 to warm up.  All members are welcome.  Ability to sing is not required. Pat will be a soloist and maybe Dawn’s daughter will be there as a soloist as well.
  • Pat Todd: Reminded us that the Joyful Voices will sing to the waiting attendees in the hallway of the Community Center at the holiday luncheon.

New Member: Pat Todd conducted the swearing in ceremony of Eileen Clark, mother of Kyle, as a new member of the club.  Congratulations Eileen!  Some smart aleck asked her if she would consider being our president next year!


Foundation Minute: No report this week.


Birthdays and Anniversaries: No birthdays this week.  Anniversaries: Bill Fatula (1982), Megan Scanlon (2017), Ed Walker (1984) and David West (2021).   


King of Clubs: 40 cards in the deck. $154 in the pot. Sorry, no winner!     


Tribute Donald Baechler:


Tony Fappiano – who has been keeping the club informed of Donald’s condition over the past year or so - sadly announced Don’s passing this week.  Tony said Don was as good as they get in this club or any Rotary club. He was well known every level and he has done everything and served in every capacity possible.  He would always volunteer for anything that needed to be done. Tony mentioned that Don left the club 3 years ago but he continued to pay dues to our club!


This led many of us to tell their favorite Donald story and how he was such a great leader/mentor to many of us.  He never missed a club meeting unless he was filling in teaching math at the high school.  Pat Todd said that Don encouraged her to join him in reading math text books for the blind.  They would go into New Haven to enter a recording booth to record reading math books.  


Don’s Obituary Sent to the Club by his daughter, Elizabeth:


Donald Oliver Baechler died November 19, 2022.  He was 89 years old. Donald was born in Momence, Illinois and graduated from Wilmington (Illinois) High School in 1951.  He was an Air Force radio operator 1952-1956 and was the lay Protestant leader of his detachment during his tour on Kumejima, an island off Okinawa, during the Korean War.  He received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree in 1960 from The George Washington University, a Master of Engineering degree in 1964, and in 1968 passed written exams in Circuit Theory, Communications Theory and Computer Science while in the Doctor of Science program.  He worked for Vitro Laboratories, ARINC Research Corporation and The George Washington University before joining Bellcom, a Bell System company,
where he worked on the Apollo program doing systems engineering with primary responsibility for on-board digital computers. 


After Apollo, he worked for Bell Telephone Laboratories and successor companies for 33 years.  He was a Registered Professional Engineer.  He was a contributor, co-author and/or author of several books on reliability engineering and digital computers.  During the last decade of his career, he participated in industry forums that formed agreements concerning the operation of the public switched network of telephones. He was responsible for a far-reaching communication industry agreement called The Fair-Share Plan, which provides for any company who receives assignment of telephone numbers in the North American Numbering Plan to financially support the industry organization that collects, analyzes and disseminates that information to all who use it to handle telephone calls.

He retired in 1999 and began a series of volunteer and part-time work. This included driving for the Red Cross, recording math textbooks for Recording for the Blind and Dyslectic, substitute teaching at The Guilford High School, directing programs at Guilford Community Television, and actively participating in the Guilford Rotary Club where he was President, Secretary and Webmaster.

He said that his two proudest achievements in life were his marriage in 1955 to his wife Sharon, and being the father of his daughter, Elizabeth, both of whom survive him.  He is also survived by Grandsons
Hunter and Chandler Warren.

His remains will be interred at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois, near Wilmington, where he graduated from High School. There will be no public memorial service.  In lieu of flowers or other expression of sympathy, the family prefers a donation to Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Happy $’s:

  • Ralph: Welcome Eileen.
  • Gary: Welcome Eileen; when I was president, Don helped me all the time; my traveling daughter will be coming back this summer to the northeast – permanently!
  • Kyle: Congratulations to Mom.
  • Lizbeth: Welcome Eileen, and happy holidays to everyone.
  • Mike: Welcome Eileen; and he was happy to see a nice article in a local magazine about his family.
  • Tommy: Thanks for those who helped with the turkey bags; Sad about Donald.  He was an engineer on the Applo 13 program; congrats to Eileen; and go America in the “football” match on Sat!
  • Tony Fappiano: Sorry for the loss of Donald. He mentioned that Donald’s wife was Sen. Humphry’s secretary and admin assistant for many years and that they were best man/lady to Don’s wedding.
  • Reife: Welcome to Eileen; Sorry about the loss of Donald – he was a good friend and mentor to all.
  • Wayne: Sorry about the loss of Don.  Don gave him great support when he was president; welcome Eileen.
  • Al: Pete Webster is closing on his house tomorrow; A Don story: He was an internationally acclaimed wine connoisseur and one day he gave a lecture at a Rotary meeting on wine quality.   At one point a member asked him a question: “What do you think about a particular brand of wine. “What do you think I should do with this one?” Don said, “well, you could drink it”.
  • Gene: Welcome to Eileen.
  • Pat Todd: I never saw Don without a neck tie on – even for club meeting at a Dunkin donut shop!;  And welcome Eileen.
  • Patrick: He met Don at the high school when both were substitute teachers – he was revered there.
  • Steph: She met Don when he taught her as a substitute teacher at the high school and he taught students, not how to get the best grades - but he taught us how to be good students.
  • Stax: Sad story – Fr. John Murphy is going thru a rough time now.  His wife, Miriam, had to be hospitalized and he cannot visit her because of COVID restrictions.  So we have to reach out to comfort him.
  • Reife: He forgot to welcome Jerry Buonanno to candidacy as a new member to the club.  He will be a great addition to the club

Guest Speakers: Anne Merola, North Branford Rotary and Maryann & Ralph Stroup, Rotary Literacy International Grant, Ngwesi Community Kenya.


Anne Merola: Is from the North Branford Rotary Club. They are working with Maryann and Ralph Stroup, on the Rotary Literacy International Grant, Ngwesi Community, Kenya. They were here few years ago to raise funds for another project in Kenya concerning a medical clinic.  They had run out of funds and the Guilford club helped out with addition funds.  They are now here on a new global grant project concerning literacy and helping build and stock a library in Ngwesi, Kenya. 


Maryann providing background information on the new project.  The II Ngwesi Resource Center grant GG#  2237358 for $83,000.  They have raised approximately $48,000 including District matching funds.  The current project involves working with the Nanyuki Rotary to provide books to the Chumvi Primary School. This school had no books for 700 children in 2013.  The Nanyuki Rotary Club and the Kenya government provided construction of the library and donated the land for the building. The library is a private, non-profit organization. 

The project is not just to provide books for the children but also includes a mobile library for the II Ngwesi Community; a developmental learning center; a computer and internet center; literacy programs; a teacher resource center; a perimeter electric fence and electrical works.  There is also an adult literacy center serving 20 women including instructions on home finance and management and the development of reading skill.


There are seven communities involved in the project and a board of directors from each community and the Nanyuki Rotary Club; Kenyan Health Care Initiatives (Maryann and Ralph Stroup) and the N. Branford Rotary Club.




Check the club website and click on "Upcoming Programs" on the right column to see planned speakers.