Thanking the North Haven Rotary Club for a “funtastic year,” the club’s exiting president, Gaetano (Guy) Casella, gave a detailed overview of the many successes of his Rotary year at the annual officer installation and awards dinner at Anthony’s Ocean View earlier this summer. Expressing his sincere appreciation to the general membership for their support, he also recognized several individuals with Special Awards. He began by giving his wife, Bernadette, a “Special Appreciation Award for a Special Person” due to her tireless efforts on his behalf, and went on to personally credit the following for their unique contributions to Rotary: Nicole Lesage, Richard DiNorscia, David Marchesseault, Ellie Mulligan, Alex Johnson, James and Claudia Giulietti, and John and Theresa Viele.
He expressed great pride at accomplishing his three main goals: the initiation and funding of Rachel’s Challenge at the Middle School; the memorable celebration of the club’s 70th Anniversary; and the club’s recent founding and sponsorship of the latest Rotaract Club, a service organization for adults under the age of 30 called the Greater New Haven Rotaract Club.
The Club Awards went to: Nick D’Ambrosia (Rookie of the Year); Brendan McCaffery (Secretary); Mike Hallahan (Wine and Roses); Debbie Volain (Pancake Breakfast); Nick Casella (70’s Celebration); and Mary & Mark Minotti (Service Above Self.) The coveted Paul Harris Award was presented to Angelo Verdini for 50 years of membership; and for their outstanding club service, William Espowood, Mary & Mark Minotti, and Ellie Mulligan received the prized award. Three privately donated Paul Harris Awards were also given: Jonathan Martinek to his wife, Sachiko; Alexander Casella from his parents, Gaetano & Bernadette; and District Governor-Elect Dr. Richard Bassett to his wife, Jennifer. Each Paul Harris Award includes a contribution of $1000 to the Rotary International Foundation in the honoree’s name.
The North Haven Rotary Club’s prestigious Rotarian of the Year Award went to Jonathan Martinek.
In his closing remarks, Casella announced, “Together we will have donated over $45,000 to charitable causes this year, and 68% of that will stay right here, in our own community of North Haven.”