Robert Friend, Rotary District 7980 Assistant Governor, recently announced that the East Haven Rotary Club was named the inaugural recipient of the District’s new Phoenix Rising Star Award. Through this award the District recognizes a Club that has gone through transformative expansion and engagement, making a profound and lasting impact on its community.
In announcing the award, Friend said the club “contains a highly diverse group of professional leaders from its community and is celebrating its 80th Anniversary as a Rotary Club.” Friend pointed out that only five years ago the club membership hovered around 20 members, predominantly led by men and focused solely on giving back to their community. “Since that time membership has increased by 52% with 32 members and a high percentage of women which has transformed the club’s unique connection to the community.”, Friend continued, “Their (the Club’s) work has now extended into international service as they served as the lead club in last year’s Feed Our Neighbors program”, which enabled 28,000 meals for the children and families of Jeremie Haiti.
The District also cited the club for its many successful local community events and fundraisers. One of the newer initiatives is their extremely popular “Anginette Wars” fundraiser which attracts upwards of 600 community members to bake, taste and vote on the best Anginette Cookie in the event. All proceeds of this event go directly to the “Ben Mazzucco Clothe the Children” program which has delivered over $ 130,000 in clothing to more than 1100 children in the community, for 18 years each January.
In addition to the above events, the East Haven Rotary, continues its Students of the Month recognition; its annual year end Scholarship awards at East Haven High School and the issuing of free Amber Alert Child Identification cards. This along with their annual recognition of first responders with the annual “Joseph Buonome Memorial Public Safety Awards” which are given at the Club’s Installation Dinner each June. Lastly, the Club each year for the past twelve has provided full Thanksgiving Dinners to deserving residents of the town, most of which are delivered by Rotarians on Thanksgiving Day. This year over 220 meals were provided free to the community for this purpose !
Assistant Governor Friend concluded by saying, “this club is dynamic, resilient, energized and making great change in the way Rotary is perceived in their community through relationship and engagement”.
The club was officially formed on March 3, 1939 and is now celebrating its 80th Anniversary by the installation of a distinctive legacy “post” clock to be located in front of the Hagaman Memorial Library. Applications for the sponsorships and further information can be obtained and paid for on the club’s website:  or by contacting Bill Richardson (203) 763-9596 or Cheryl Panzo (203) 980-4021 or by emailing the club at
For further comments or information, please contact:   
Bill Richardson, Club President   (203) 530-4329                                     
Robert Friend, District 7980 Assistant Governor    (203) 530-0222