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Newsletter - Current Apr 17, 2018
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Middletown Rotary Club




April 17, 2018



The meeting was called to order by Kevin Wilhelm at 12:15 with “America” and the Pledge of Allegiance. The reflection was presented by Sue Murphy.  She sang a beautiful rendition of ”Let the Sun Shine”.


Alexandra Lowry from the Wisdom Alliance.  She is our guest speaker.  A special thank you to Stephanie Martinez for inviting our speaker today. 


Kevin Wilhelm announced the following:

  • Congratulations to Rich and Joan Tomc for receiving the Distinguished Citizens Award from the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce. 
  • Cliff Straub Rotarian of the Month
  • Three Paul Harris Award Winners;

o   Joe Marino

o   Art Meyer

o   Justin Wilke

  • Carmela Gagnon was named Rotarian of the Year
  • Howard Reid received the Mort Briggs Award
  • Pat Gomola received her 6th Paul Harris Award
  • The Club received a thank you note from The Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut.  The club donated $500.00 to the organization. 

Carmela Gagnon announced the following:

The Paul Harris Dinner will be held on May24th at 5:30pm at the Elks Club of Middletown.  Tickets can be purchased from Carmela at $40.00 per person.

Guaranteed Card Winners: ($5.00 each)

  • Rich Tomc (high) – donated his winnings to Amber Alert
  • Carmela Gagnon (low) – donated her winnings to the Soup Kitchen 

King of Clubs Card Game:  ($82.00)

  • Stephanie Martinez drew the 4 of hearts.
  • Kevin Wilhelm drew the 4 of spades.

No winner this week.

Happy Dollars:

  • Kevin Wilhelm:  for his 24th wedding anniversary.  Also for his recent vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • Kandyce Aust:  for a missed meeting and for A Speakeasy Soiree tasting event.  The event will be held on April 28th at 1280 Newfield Street in Middletown.
  • Dean McMorran:  for missed meetings.
  • Patti Vassia:  for Liberty Bank, for Pat and Gary Gomola, for the coalition of Housing and Homelessness fund raiser at the Ivoryton Playhouse, and for Paul Harris honorees.
  • Lois Muraro:  for the Paul Harris Honorees and for her 43rd wedding anniversary.
  • Howard Reid:  for his son’s wedding in Athens Georgia.
  • Dan Litwin:  for arugula salad
  • Art Meyers:  offered his international rotary stamps to anyone who was interested.
  • Chris Soulias:  for his 30th Tax Day.
  • Ken Vaugh:  for the award winners.
  • Lisa Santangelo:  happy that our reservoirs are full for the coming summer.   
  • Carmela Gagnon:  was thankful for being honored as the Rotarian of the Year.
  • Celeste Cremin-Endes:  for the Paul Harris honorees and for her recent trip to Ireland.
  • Pat Tucker:  for Pat and Gary Gomola.
  • Helene Varteles:  for the Paul Harris Honorees and for a successful survey at work. 
  • Michele Rulnick:  for the Live Strong program at the Y.  For her parents who are up from Florida for the summer.
  • Alexandra Lowry:  for all the work Rotarians do in the community.
  • Stephanie Martinez:  for the guest speaker and for all the toiletries given to her so she could donate them to the homeless.  Also for her daughter who is at camp.
  • Rich Tomc:  for his daughter who ran in the Boston Marathon and for the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in recent history. 

Guest Speaker:

Alexandra Lowry founder of The Wisdom Alliance, LLC.  Alexandra’s passion for coaching was driven by her desire to help others achieve success.  She likes to “help people create”.  Alexandra’s proven methods teach awareness, resilience and self-reliance to create greater clarity, confidence and courage for individuals and groups that ignites inspired action.  Prior to founding The Wisdom Alliance , Alexandra spent many successful years as a corporate professional.  Her credentials and affiliations are as follows:

  • Certified Integrative Coach Professional, Ford Institute for Transformational Training
  • Infinite Possibilities Trainer, Mike Dooley Organization TUT
  • Grief Facilitator Mary’s Place, Windsor, CT
  • Faculty Advisor Women’s Independent Network
  • Co-Founder Handbags with Heart- The Purse Project
  • Membership- International Coach Federation
  • Certified Ramble Guide, Connecticut Forest & Park Association
  • Member- The Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides
  • Founder, The Wisdom Alliance, LLC. 

Alexandra moved from South Windsor to Middletown several years ago.  She began to ask herself why she was here.  She found a local hiking trail that renewed her strength and confidence.  She began to research the biology of nature and its effect on humans.  While doing her research she discovered Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing.  Shinrin-Yoku was developed in Japan in the 1980’s.  - According to the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, forest bathing “is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments.”

Alexandra now provides forest bathing to her clients.  She has partnered with the Connecticut Forest and Park Association to combine guided trail walks with Shinrin-yoku.  She hopes one day that physicians will recommend this therapy to their patients.

Kevin asked Alexandra what area of life is most overlooked.  She responded that it’s getting to know one’s self.  She works with people to help them discover why they are the way they are and helps them to move forward.

Carmela asked her to explain what forest bathing entails.  Alexandra described it as slow sensory immersion.


Pat asked about the Biophillic theory.  Alexandra explained that the biophilic theory suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.

Kevin thanked our speaker for her informative presentation.


President Kevin Wilhelm concluded the meeting with the four-way test.  The meeting was adjourned at 1:25 pm.


Respectfully submitted by: 

Keith A. Wiemert