Rotary Club of Pittsfield

Club Information



Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 12:10 PM
Crowne Plaza Hotel
or Mazzeo's (see Calendar)
Pittsfield, MA  01201
United States
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The 2015 Service Above Self awards were presented to the following students whose volunteer efforts and selfless commitments have shown that they exhibit the character true to the Rotarian mission.  The award winners also receive a $100 award to be given to the charity of their choice. 
Pittsfield High School:
Hannah Stechmann        
Kaytlin Barcus                
Dlyan Northrup
Taconic High School:               
Alex Kent                       
Shawndell Cummings 
Ranjana Lingutla
St. Joseph High School:
Taylor Jordao                 
Anita Curtin                  
2015 Service Above Self Awards

Ms. Cindy Bartlett was the distinguished speaker at the Club's September 24 meeting, and the members were treated to a very interesting presentation regarding the history and operations of her family's well-known and highly-regarded orchard located on Swamp Road in Richmond. Cindy is a Bartlett by marriage, and the orchard is co-owned by her husband, Ron, and her brother-in-law, Rick. The orchard has been in business since 1947, and was originally planted by Art Howard (whom the Bartlett family would later purchase the land from). The orchard is roughly 50 acres in total size. 35 of these acres are used to grow apples and 10 acres are used to grow corn, tomatoes, melons, and other summer crops. The Bartlett's grow 19 different varieties of apples, and picking begins in mid-August for some of the faster growing varieties. Cindy explained that the majority of apple-picking is conducted by a 4-person crew of Jamaicans, and these hard-working folks end up picking 150-200 boxes of apples a day and 15,000 bushels of apples in a season. The same crew of Jamaicans have worked for the Bartlett's for many years, and they are considered extended family. Although not a professionally a baker by professor training, Cindy explained that she does most of the baking. That said, Cindy also told Club members that son's girlfriend recently began helping with the baking and is developing quite a favorable among the pie-loving public. Club members learned that warmer weather means that the apples will drop sooner (this has been a warmer year), and there is no longer any market for dropped apples because of concerns over the potential for E. coli. Cindy informed the group that most apples are sold retail at the farm stand, and they have an oxygen-controlled room on the property to slow ripening so that fresh apples can be sold or used in other products (i.e., apple cider) during the winter months. The Barlett's practice integrated pest management (IPM) in order to reduce the amount of chemical spraying that is required, and this conveys both financial and environmental benefits. Cindy also informed the group that a Vermont-based beekeeper transports 40 hives down to the orchard in later-spring/early-summer to help accelerate pollination (which in turn leads to greater apple production).

In place of a speaker last week interested members held a preliminary auction meeting.  Gail Molari and Joan DiMartino will chair the auction this year, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday, January 30.  The theme has not yet been selected, so if you have suggestion get it to one of them sooner than later.  Likewise, if there is something about our auction that you think we can improve upon, don't be shy about it.  Speaking of sooner than later, the overriding focus of this year's auction will be getting items in sooner than later so that the club can be more organized and assured of procuring items otherwise overlooked.  This is especially critical this year because we will not be meeting on December 24 and December 31, which effectively puts us behind by two weeks.  Auction planning and activities will officially kick-off at our Club meeting on September 10.

Our best luncheon speakers come to us by way of member referral.  If know of someone interesting that you think the Club might enjoy hearing from, please share your ideas with John Reynolds.

Twenty-five Rotary Clubs in northern CT and Western MA (Rotary District 7890) have joined together to fund a project that will bring fresh drinking water to two needy communities in Guatemala.  Clubs from Avon-Canton, Bloomfield, Broad Brook, East Hartford, East Windsor, Enfield, Kensington-Berlin, Manchester, Newington, Plainfield, Rockville, Simsbury-Granby, Southington, Suffield, Torrington-Winsted, Watertown, West Hartford, Wethersfield/Rocky Hill, Willimantic and Windsor/Windsor Locks, CT along with Massachusetts’ clubs in Holyoke, Northampton, Palmer, Pittsfield, Southwick, West Springfield and Wilbraham/Hampden have raised $95,898.  Two Rotary clubs from neighboring Massachusetts/Rhode Island District 7950, East Greenwich and Wakefield, RI, two in District 6990, Ft. Lauderdale, FL North Beach and Hollywood, FL, members of a Montreal, Quebec Rotary Club in District 7040, members of the Rotary Club of La Antigua, Guatemala District 4250, the Berlin H. S. Interact Club and the CT International Baccalaureate Academy also contributed funds to achieve the fund raising goal.
These funds will build complete gravity fed water system with gray water filters, vented pit latrines and improved vented stoves for the 135 families (750 people) who live in the rural communities of Chuchuca' Bajo and El Garabato, Guatemala.  These are the eleventh and twelfth funded projects continuing the goal of Rotary International to have every Rotary Club support an international water and sanitation project every year.  By working together, pooling their resources and obtaining a Global Grant with matching funds from The Rotary Foundation, the Rotarians have been successful in adding size and strength to their chosen projects.



The Kagan Award award was established in 1977, in memory of Dr. David B. Kagan, a long-time Pittsfield Rotarian and community citizen. The award is presented annually and beginning in 1978 has been given to one female and one male from the Central Berkshire area to recognize volunteerism "above and beyond" the call of duty. The recipients represent the highest standards of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which is the basis of the award. This years awards went to Joe Torra and Anne Pasko. Joe has spent many years as mentor for business students from PHS and Taconic hiring them as employees so they could see how business runs first hand. He also has been active donating his sound and lighting systems to schools and Downtown Inc.  Anne is a successful businesswoman who has donated her time to many different causes to include Lanesboro Elementary school computer lab, Pittsfield Garden tour, Barrington Stage, Artscape, antheneum, and downtown inc. Along with their award each was given a $200 stipend to donate to the charity of their choice.Image



ImageAt our last meeting we presented the annual Gene Case Scholarship.  Marshall Raser started off the program by providing a short background about Gene, who was a Rotarian for 45 years, past Club president and District Governor.  While Gene had a host of volunteer credits, his favorites were those that involved youth.  Tom Hamel then took over and introduced Shae Hassett, the daughter of Rotarian Jeff and Kate Hassett.  Shae is third in her class at Taconic High School, and is very busy outside of class with extracurricular activities and community service where she epitomizes Rotary’s “Service Above Self” mantra.  Congratulations to the proud parents, and to the committee (Tom Hamel, Kelly Marion, Jay Marion and Joan DiMartino) for the excellent choice.



ImageBecause our Club works hard to raise the money to fund our benevolence there's probably little more satisfying that to see our scholarship awards go to deserving students.  Last week Tom Sherman organized and presented these annual awards to seven deserving students:

  • Christopher Broast (BCC
  • Sarah Garson (Registered Nurse Program at BCC)
  • Basil Billow (PHS)
  • Samantha Clark (PHS)
  • David Lewis (SJCCH)
  • Viola Sharron (THS)
  • Quincy Fernandez (THS)


Club Executives & Directors

Rotary International Foundation
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Vice President
Public Relations
Pittsfield Rotary Foundation