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Officers & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Rotary Foundation
Board Member-at-Large
Board Member-at-Large
Interact Chair
Committee Chairs
Newsletter Editors
Salin Low, Larry Haber, Gary Miller, Lauren Gardner
Public Relations

Mike Mezheritskiy - Social Media
Membership Committee Chair
Peter Vignati
Community Services Co-Chairs
Dick Kisiel
International Service Chair
Yvonne Gardner
Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)
Gary Miller
Interact Advisors
 • Canton - Leigh Connole and Julie Monico
 • Avon - Maria Mascoli
Program Chair
Ike Eickenhorst
Sunshine Chair
Ann Clark
Gary Miller
Golf Tournament Co-Chairs
Larry Sullivan and Lou Daniels
Tastes of the Valley Co-Chairs
Colleen Grasso
Senior Luncheon
Sue Budde
Breakfast with Santa
Dee Boorjian
ByLaws Review Committee
Investment-Scholarship Fund Committee
Gary Hyde 
Financial Review & Advisory Committee
Phil Ferrari, Greg DeManche, Robin DiNicola
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973

Service above Self

We meet In Person
Fridays at 7:30 a.m.
Golf Club of Avon
160 Country Club Road
Avon, CT 06001
United States of America
(860) 760-6364
All meetings are hybrid both in-person and Zoom available
News About Our Activities and Members

Our regular meetings are normally held in-person
at the Golf Club of Avon in the Family Room

unless posted otherwise

Members and guests are able to attend via Zoom
Zoom instructions can be requested
by emailing: Rotary of Avon-Canton

Congratulations to our new
Officers & Directors for 2024-2025
President Debbie Stanwood
Immediate Past-President Luke Violette
President-Elect Colleen Grasso
Secretary Sue Budde
Treasurer Phil Ferrari
Asst Treasurer Gary Hyde
Sargeant-at-Arms Lauren Gardner
Members-at-Large Salin Low and Josh Gillooly
New Rotarian "Cat" Pellino on dumpster duty! 
At the annual Shred Event that Collinsville Bank puts on together with the collection of donations for the Canton Food Bank.
Catherine, who goes by "Cat," and who recently became a member of the Avon-Canton Rotary Club, is the Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the Canton and Collinsville branch of Collinsville Bank, a division of Northwest Community Bank.  "I started working for Collinsville Bank when I was 16 years-old as a part-time teller in high school," she says, "and I’ve now worked there for 15 years."
A native of Collinsville, who grew up in Avon where her family settled when she was 2, Cat graduated from Avon High School in 2010.  She continued her education at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, graduating in 2014 with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Philosophy.  She was a Resident Assistant (RA) for 3 years.  She also graduated from the Connecticut School of Finance and Management, sponsored by the Connecticut Bankers Association, in 2022.
Cat is the secretary of Canton Main Street, a non-profit organization that partners with residents, businesses, government, religious congregations and civic groups to enhance all aspects of Canton. "We currently run the Collinsville Farmers Market, Music on Main and the Champagne Walk in Collinsville," she notes.  
She is also a member of the Avon Canton Chamber of Commerce and on their marketing committee.  In the spirit of Rotary she declares, "I love volunteering."
She lives in Canton with her 2 dogs, Murph and Mags, both of which are Brittany Spaniels and love bird hunting. "My family has a cabin in Vermont, so I frequently take weekend trips there," she says.  "I love to read, bake and cook, hike, garden and travel.  The places I loved the most that I traveled to in 2023 were Belize, Nashville and New Orleans." 
She says that she and her girlfriends love taking weekend trips to New York, Boston, the Hamptons and visiting new places.  "I also love being outdoors (kayaking, paddle boarding), staying busy, and trying new things!  I have an older sister and 2 nephews: Noah (10) and Leo (6) who live in Bristol."
We are delighted to welcome Catherine "Cat" Pellino as a member of the Rotary of Avon-Canton.

"I call Pleasanton, Texas my hometown," says Tom Wood, recently received as a new member of the Avon-Canton Rotary Club.  "It was a very small town known as the Birthplace of the Cowboy down in Atascosa County.  I have lived in over 25 places, including not only across Texas but also Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Connecticut.  I have resided in Avon since 1996."

Tom attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where he received a BBA and an MBA in Finance.  He has been a CPA since 1979, despite the fact, says Tom, that "somehow, I passed the CPA exam on the first sitting, even though I do not have a degree in accounting."
Tom and Marie have been married for 40 years, after meeting on a blind date in Houston on Jan. 23, 1983.  "It was love at first sight," declares Tom, "and we were married at St. Dimitrie Orthodox Church in Bridgeport that year."
Three years later, with a detour through Dallas where their oldest son, Tom, was born, the Wood family moved to West Hartford where their younger son, Chris, was born.    
"We are very fortunate that our children and their families live near us," says Tom, noting that "Tom is an Avon resident, and Chris lives in Burlington.  We have three grandchildren, Morgan, Thomas Atlas and Austin James."
Tom has worked for seven companies spanning five decades, including three banks, a financial planning company, an oil company and the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford.  He was selected CFO of the Year by the Hartford Business Journal in 2014 and currently serves as the treasurer of three organizations: Duncaster, Inc., Hartford Community Loan Fund and St. Dimitrie Orthodox Church.
A long-time active member of the West Hartford Rotary Club, Tom reports that "I was the Club's treasurer for my entire tenure there.  I worked most events,, e.g., the Vine of March, the Jazz Brunch, etc.  I came over the mountain to come home to Rotary in Avon where I have resided for 28 years."
In becoming a member of Avon-Canton Rotary, Tom notes that he has always been inspired these quotes:  "Everyone deserves a little happiness.  Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." - Plato.  And: "It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see."  - Henry David Thoreau.
We are very happy to welcome Tom Wood as a new Avon-Canton Rotarian.  
When Dami Singh was received into Rotary membership last Friday, she shared a wonderful quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr:  "Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve."  What a perfect quote in the spirit of Rotary by our newest member!  She was introduced to the Avon-Canton Club by Linda Pendergast, whom she had met while working with the Women's Auxiliary at St. Francis Hospital.
Dami, from a family of nine, grew up in Guyana, South America.  Prior to her country's independence in 1966, Guyana was under British rule as part of the British Mainland of the British West Indies.  Consequently, her education followed the British curriculum. 
"In 1980, I married my high school sweetheart," says Dami, "and we embarked on a journey that took us to Jamaica and later to Barbados as he pursued his medical education. In 1990, we settled in Rochester, NY, where we resided for three years before relocating to Bayside, NY.  Finally we made our home in Avon, CT, where we have lived for 26 years." Dami's professional journey has been diverse.  She started her career in banking in Georgetown and Jamaica.  Later, she obtained an Associates in Computer Information Management from Tunxis Community College and a degree in Leadership and Management from the University of Hartford.  She also pursued HR certification through Ecornell.  Subsequently, she worked as a Production Programmer at AMS Ratings in Windsor, CT. 
"Then I transitioned to supporting my late husband in managing his successful medical practice, progressing from Bookkeeper to Office Manager," she reports.  "After my husband's passing in 2018, I completed the Real Estate License Course and became a Realtor in May 2019 with Berkshire Hathaway in Avon, achieving over 5 million dollars in sales within a short period.  Presently, I work part-time as a Bookkeeper with the Women's Auxiliary at St. Francis Hospital and am still a Licensed real Estate Agent."
Outside of work, Dami notes that she has always been dedicated to volunteering, and over the years has been involved with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Interval House, League of Women Voters of Greater Hartford and FAVARH.
"I have a son named Rish Singh, who was at Rotary with me for my induction last week, and a beloved Wheaten Terrier named Rhea, who brings joy to our household.  I also enjoy gardening, cooking, theater, hiking, Broadway and exercising."
We are delighted to welcome Dami Singh as an enthusiastic new member of the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton.
It was our privilege recently to welcome Loren Clarke as a new member of the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton.  After being introduced to the club earlier in the year, she attended several meetings as an enthusiastic visitor before being received into full membership on June 16.
Loren is the Branch Manager of Northwest Bank in Avon, on Simsbury Road, Route 10.  During her first year as manager, the Avon Branch won the Best Large Business award from the Chamber of Commerce.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, she lived in Massapequa NY (Long Island) and then in Avon from the age of 7.  She graduated from Avon High School in '92 and currently resides in Simsbury with her 9-year-old son, Tyler (TJ) and husband, Matthew.  "We have been married for 20 years," says Loren.  "Matthew and I met when I was 11 years old at Simsbury Lanes, where we had a group of friends that has stayed together ever since, 6 marriages and 8 kids later.  I have a wonderful, smart son that has CP but is a determined fighter and surprises us every day.  We were told that we couldn’t have children and then 10 years later discovered that sometimes God has other plans."
Loren has earned two 2 Bachelor of Science Degrees, one in Business Marketing and the other in Merchandising.  She also spent a semester in London and traveled all over Europe.  She started her career in the fashion world as a buyer and was lucky enough to visit sites throughout Asia.  "Unfortunately," says Loren, "I had to make a choice of what I wanted to do when Weathervane and Filenes closed.  I spent some time in Real Estate, and then I decided to go into the Banking world.  I am happy I did.  As a banker I discovered that I can help people with one of the most important needs in someone's life, the assets they have spent a lifetime working for."
Loren is happy to have become a Rotarian because, she says, "I really enjoy and I am honored to help others."   
We are delighted to have her as an enthusiastic fellow Rotarian.
Meet Our New Member - Bill Budde
It was our privilege last month to welcome Bill Budde as a new member of the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton.  No stranger to our club as husband of our inimitable Sgt-at-Arms, Sue Budde, Bill has been a frequent visitor and occasional speaker at our meetings.  
He was born in Chicago, northside, which of course made him a Cubs fan.  An entrepreneur from the get-go, he spent his early years forming a business that collected bottles from neighbors and exchanged them for candy to pay his helpers.  "Turns out," says Bill, "that the 5-year-old with a wagon can influence kids twice his age to work for sweets."
There were many family moves when Bill was young - to Florida, Tennessee and Illinois over a 10-year period - but things came full circle ending back in Evanston where he attended Northwestern, started his career, got married and had two kids, which ultimately led to moving to Avon in 1995 where he has lived happily ever since.
On April 1st, the Avon High School Interact Club hosted a program on Guiding Light Orphans presented by Rotary of Avon-Canton member Jolly Lux. Jolly is the founder of GLO. According to Interact Club Advisor, Maria Mascoli, the AHS Interact Club had the privilege of hosting Jolly and hearing her impactful presentation. The Interact students are very excited to partner with GLO and help make an impact in Uganda.
On Saturday, March 25th, eight members of the Rotary of Avon-Canton worked at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Bloomfield for 4 hours. The event was organized by President-Elect Luke Violette who recruited the following members to sort merchandise and work on displays: Luke Violette, Heather Pantano, Scott Nardozzi, Debbie and John Stanwood, Bob Cave, Dick Kisiel, and Gary Miller.
Congratulations on achieving ShelterBox HERO SILVER level recognition for Rotary Year 2022-2023.
2022 was the biggest year yet for ShelterBox and your support helped us to reach over 400,000 people across 22 projects in 12 countries. This year is shaping up to be just as busy and your continued support is truly appreciated. Please watch and share “THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP: TURKEY EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE” which was featured at the recent RI Convention. Here is the link:https://youtu.be/0L8v4KPKyjI
Help us support the Rotary Clubs in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Maldova which are providing aid and comfort to the war torn areas and nearly 5 million refugees fleeing the war zones in Ukraine.
June 2024
The Rotary of Avon-Canton 
is a charitable 501c3 organization
Upcoming Events
Contact us by email
Or use our mailing address:

Rotary of Avon-Canton
Luke Violette, President 2023-2024
P.O. Box 11, Avon, CT 06001 

Board of Directors
meets 3rd Tuesday at 5:30 PM

Community Service Committee
meets 1st Friday at 8:45 AM
Golf Club of Avon

International Service Committee
meets 2nd Friday at 8:45 AM
Golf Club of Avon

Membership Committee
meets 3rd Friday at 8:45 AM
Golf Club of Avon

Member Directory
Suggest a speaker for an upcoming meeting
Lyman Louis, Farmington Rotary Club
Jun 21, 2024
Rotary Youth Exchange Program
Club Meeting
Jun 28, 2024
No Meeting
Jul 05, 2024
Jolly Lux
Jul 12, 2024
GLO Programs
Joelle Santiago, DC
Jul 19, 2024
Club Day
Jul 26, 2024
Aug 02, 2024
Bruce Deckert, TODAY Publishing
Aug 09, 2024
Community Journalism
Jeff Grindrod
Aug 16, 2024
Avon Land Trust