To the Editor:

Happy New Year from the members of the Rotary Club of Bethel. We are looking forward to a great year ahead, as our club is celebrating our 50th anniversary! We were chartered in 1974.

Our club
membership is growing and our once-a-week meetings held on Tuesday mornings at the Grace Note Inn & Spa have been filled with fellowship, delicious food, and interesting speakers. If anyone who is service-minded has an interest in membership, please contact a Rotarian or send an e-mail to

We had a super busy December, beginning with our customary Christmas for Children collections outside the Mainely Provisions store on Main St., Bethel each weekend from Thanksgiving to just before Christmas, weather permitting. Many thanks to all the Rotarians, and members of Telstar Interact Club, for braving the elements in the collection of donations for this long-standing Bethel Rotary program.

Once all requests for assistance were distributed, 47 families with 101 children (ages 0-18) were served. Thank you to all the donors, without whom we would not be able to facilitate this wonderful program, and a huge thanks to Rotarian David Murphy for his three-and-a-half-decade commitment to it.

More than 75 Bethel area senior citizens attended our Holiday Luncheon at The American Legion Hall in Locke Mills on Tuesday, December 12. Thanks to the fantastic support from the Good Food Store & Catering Co., owners Dave & Heather Nivus, who prepared all the food for the complete ham dinner, the majority of our members plated and served the happy diners.


It was lovely having the opportunity to visit with our area seniors, who were grateful for this opportunity to gather safely in this setting. A huge thanks to the membership of the Locke Mills Legion for providing the facility for this event to happen.

As you all know, the week before Christmas was a very rough one for the people of the greater Bethel region, with as much as 6.5 inches of rain, with accompanying melt, creating record flooding, power outages, and then a serious public water issue wreaking havoc on the lives of many of our citizens.

Our club’s leadership jumped into action to create an Emergency Relief Fund to receive donations to provide financial assistance to those individuals who applied and who were negatively affected by the storm.

As of this week, we have dispersed $57,800 to 13 families and individuals and expect to disperse the remainder of the donations by the end of January, when we will conclude the program. In many cases, we have guided individuals to contact the emergency relief agencies including the American Red Cross and FEMA.

We wish to thank all the generous donors for helping Rotary to facilitate this financial relief. Our final December project, also a long-standing tradition, was Rotarians gathering to pack 25 complete holiday turkey dinners and distributing them to families in need throughout the Bethel region. This project has been spearheaded by Rotarian Bruce Powell, who we thank for his amazing efforts.

In closing, the Rotary Club of Bethel wishes to thank the owners of the Grace Note Inn & Spa, Brenda and Carl Blond, for their generosity in providing a weekly meeting space and an absolutely delicious breakfast to our club members and guests. Brenda and Carl, both who are members of Rotary, have been exemplary citizens, truly living their lives in the Rotary motto, Service Above Self.


Robin Zinchuk

PR Chair

for  Jean Benedict and Scott Hynek



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