April 13, 1966 through April 13, 2016

Meeting Recap
            Greetings fellow Rotarians!  Today’s newsletter will commemorate an event 50 years in the making.  On April 13, 1966, 27 business and community leaders from Essex and Essex Junction gathered to form the Rotary Club of Essex.   Since that time, the Club has seen many changes and faced several challenges but more importantly, it has also done a tremendous amount of good for the community.  The 50th Anniversary Dinner was our opportunity to celebrate our Club’s history and to reminisce over many of the good, bad, humorous and touching memories of the Club and its members.  95 people were in attendance which not only included current Rotarians and their family members, but several past Essex Rotarians and their loved ones as well.  We were also fortunate to be joined by several members of the community and official and Rotarians from Rotary District 7850. Not unlike Rotary meetings of the past, the event began with a lively cocktail hour where past and present Rotarians were able to reconnect.  Fellow Rotarian Rev. Mark Mendes commenced the formal part of the meeting with a very poignant invocation that truly helped to capture the essence of what our Club is about.  Throughout the dinner, we were all treated to Jeff Cabanaw’s amazing photo montage depicting the activities and members of the Essex Rotary Club over the past 50 years.  Following a welcome from Sharon Dettenrieder, District Governor Louisa Tripp took the podium to offer a few words of congratulations to our Club.  Selectman Max Levy then presented a joint proclamation from the Town of Essex Select Board and the Village of Essex Junction Board of Trustees that recognized our Club’s contributions to both communities.  We were then treated to a visit by Grant Corson, one of our Club’s Charter Members. As one of the original Essex Rotarians, Grant told us all how pleased he was to see what the group he and his colleagues started had become.  The entertainment for the evening was a performance by the critically acclaimed theater troupe, the Essex Rotary Players.  In a production that was as epic and as grand in scope as “Ben Hur” or “Lawrence of Arabia”, the story of our Club’s 50 year history unfolded before our very eyes. The evening concluded with updates from the chairs of each of our charitable committees.  These updates reminded us all that while we have a lot of fun and enjoy some great food and fellowship each week, our main focus as a Club is one thing; service! A special thank you goes out to all of the Charter Members who had the wisdom and foresight to start this Club.  We’d also like to thank all of the individuals who have graciously stepped up to serve as board members, club officers and committee chairs over the course of the past 50 years. A special thank you also goes out to 50th Anniversary Committee members Caroline Ambosait; Jean Ashe; Jeff Cabanaw; Chair, Sharon Dettenrieder; Nancy LeBoeuf; Jim Olsen; Penny Pillsbury; Bill Parmelee; Betty Poulin; Kaitlyn Raymond; and Emily Rowe for their hard work in putting this amazing event together.  Last, but not least, a special thank you goes out to . . . you, the members or our Club.  Thanks to the can-do attitude and selfless service of so many of our members, our Club is most certainly at its strongest point in Club history.  Here is to the next 50 years of service above self!
Upcoming Meeting Schedule:  April 20, 2016 – Our speaker will be Erika Marks from the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging.  Just as a quick note, I will be on vacation next week and so will the newsletter!
For the complete list of upcoming speakers and information about the Club, please go to our website at   Be sure to also visit us on Facebook at
       Yours in Rotary,
Jason Ruwet