Rotary pg 3 5-6-21


The Putnam Rotary Club raised almost $5,000 to help schools and healthcare organizations boost morale and say “you’re appreciated." Bottom: Putnam  teachers with Superhero lunches. Top, from left: Day Kimball Healthcare Head Pharmacist Robert Viens; Kristen Willis, Rotary president; Lin Rochefort, Putnam High School nurse; Daniel Sullivan III, Putnam schools superintendent; and Dan Durand, Day Kimball ICU Nurse Manager. Linda Lemmon photos.

By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
Eager to help boost the morale of front line workers in the depths of the COVID-19 morass, the Putnam Rotary Club raised almost $5,000 for schools and healthcare organizations to let their workers know they are appreciated.
The Superheroes Phonathon was held at the end of January. Kristen Willis, Putnam Rotary president, said the original goal was $2,500 but $4,800 was raised, thanks to hard work by Rotarians and a generous community. The radio phonathon was hosted by WINY Radio, owned by Putnam Rotarians Gary Osbrey and Karen Osbrey.
Willis said: “We sponsored this event to provide a morale booster and heartfelt gratitude to our local healthcare workers and educators who have been tirelessly dedicated to keeping our community safe and healthy — in body, mind and spirit. It was our hope that each organization would utilize the funds to provide an activity or gift of their choice as an expression of gratitude to their staff on behalf of our entire community.”
Eastford Elementary School, $300; Pomfret Community School, $375; Generations Healthcare, $325; Woodstock Public Schools, $550; Thompson Public Schools, $875; Putnam Public Schools, $875 and Day Kimball Healthcare, $1,500.
All the organizations were appreciative and many chose to buy lunches or snacks.
One of those picking the lunch gift was Putnam Public Schools. Timing is everything. Putnam Schools Superintendent Daniel
Sullivan III said the gift came just as the Board of Education was considering what they could do to say “We appreciate you” to educators. Rotary’s gift was matched by the Board of Education and the district ordered bagged lunches from a local business, Renee’s Bistro and Catering.
The district chose the day that all the teachers would be at the middle school getting their second vaccinations. Educators picked up packaged lunches that included a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups and even desserts. Sullivan estimated that some 230 educators were honored with the meals.
“We are so grateful to the Putnam Rotary for this gift,” Sullivan said.
Willis said it was the club’s hope that the schools/healthcare organizations would use the funds to provide a special thanks and gesture of appreciation to the staffs for all they have done and continue to do for the community.
And it did. Willis said: “The response from the receiving organizations was one of tremendous thanks and a timely morale booster — just what everyone has needed in light of the challenges they’ve all been facing and dealing with.”


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