Veterans Day 2021 turned into a very special day for a Derby-Shelton Rotary Club meeting as the Club recognized our veterans and several others for special honors for their community service. The Club also received great news about the Thanksgiving Food Drive with Liberty Bank and heard of plans for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day Football luncheon.
Paul Harris Awards
Ernie Luise did the honors in presenting three Paul Harris Awards. John Daniell and Judy Gulish were recognized for their Paul Harris +8 awards for their generosity through the years. And then Ernie presented a surprise Paul Harris Award to Dee Carey, wife of Rotarian Pat Carey. Dee thought she was at the meeting to see Pat being recognized for the award only to be surprised to learn that the award was being presented to her! What made the award extra special was to see the Carey family in attendance to witness the event.
Friend A Russ Donation
Tom Wilson presented the Club some very good news in the form of a donation to the Thanksgiving food bank drive in conjunction with Liberty Bank from the Friend A. Russ Fund. The check was for $12,000 and with Liberty Bank’s match of twenty-five cents to the dollar, the total value of the donation is $15,000. This will be added to all the other funds being raised by the Club and checks will be distributed to The Spooner House and St. Vincent dePaul before Thanksgiving. Tom noted that the Russ Fund has been making generous donations to the food bank drive for years and has had a major impact on food insecurity in the area.
Community Service Certificates
Tom and Judy also had the pleasure of presenting certificates of appreciation to local non-profits who have done so much to help the local community through the COVID pandemic. Griffin Hospital and TEAM, Inc. have been of the front line of efforts to handle the response to the pandemic and Rotary has partnered with both during the past 20 months to ensure that needs in the Valley are being met. Todd Liu of Griffin Hospital and David Morgan of TEAM, Inc. were on hand to accept the certificates.
Thanksgiving Football Luncheon
Steve Balog, long-time chairman of the football luncheon also offered some positive news to help offset the sad news that Derby High School’s football team had fallen on hard times and has had to forfeit its last five games including the traditional and historic Thanksgiving Day game with Shelton. Derby-Shelton Rotary has been involved with this cross-river rivalry for decades in the form of an annual luncheon for senior members of the football and cheerleading squads from both schools. The Rotary Club has decided to still have the luncheon so that the members of the teams will still have an opportunity to partake in this great community event even though there will not be a game this year. The event as always will be held two days before Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) at the Payden Fieldhouse in Derby.