July 2022
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
It was my honor to serve as your President for 2021-22 and as we now embark on a new Rotary year, I’m pleased to present this report on Club activities over the past year.
Firstly, I must thank those who served as officers during the year, without whom our successes would not have been possible.


During the year we added the following nine new members, making us one of the fastest growing clubs in our District, and bringing a number of new ideas to the Club.
Jeff Boak
Kara Cleveland
Rima Girnius
Eimear Gorman
Brenda Hamadeh
Stacey Jordan
Barbara Mello
Bob Mello
Katherine Taube
Also, during the year we added five honorary members (four members of the Duxbury Select Board, and The Rev. Dr. Catherine Cullen).
As I've previously noted, much of the increase in membership resulted from the visibility that the Club achieved through promoting the Good Neighbor Fund during the early days of the pandemic, and the launch of Duxbury for All. 
We have a number of prospective members who are considering joining, and if you know anyone interested in learning more about the Club, please refer them to Karl, who is Membership Chair this year. 
Over the past five years we’ve seen the number of women members triple, so they now represent more than 40% of our members, and we’ve also seen a decrease in the average age of our membership.
Our Board now has 30% female members.



In August the Duck Race returned, raising about $6,600, a record amount that far eclipsed our budget.  Mickey’s idea to ask local merchants to sell ducks helped increase our revenues, and laid the foundation for some creative thinking about ways to expand the reach of this popular event in 2022.

In November we presented the Festival of Lights.  The New Year’s Eve lunch at the Senior Center was switched to a Jazz Brunch on Valentine’s Day, with several Rotarians providing support.

In December we held a social gathering at which we concluded the Wine Auction, raising about $1,300 for Polio Plus.

Trivia Night returned in April as an in-person event, raising $6,000 to help Ukrainian refugees.  In total, we raised about $13,000 for Ukraine relief.

In May we hosted a fundraiser for Razia’s Ray of Hope School in Afghanistan.  Including the Club’s donation, the event raised $10,000.  We are anxious to hear how her high school students are getting on, in light of the changes in Afghanistan in the past year.
In June, Eimear launched our first Youth Programs event, in coordination with the Helping Hands Committee at Chandler School.  We are looking forward to an exciting program starting in the fall.
Club members filled two tables at Black Tie Bingo in June, and we had an enlarged Club presence in the July 4 Parade helped by Bob and Barbara Mello’s antique Jeep.
Please check the website (www.duxburyrotary.com) for photos of these events.
I hope you are now signed up to sell ducks for the August 27 Duck Race!
Duxbury for All, launched in 2020 in partnership with the Duxbury Interfaith Council, has continued to grow, with a thirteen-member Steering Committee and more than 500 supporters.  Many events have been held, including a series of “Challenging Conversations”, and a strategic review was completed during the spring, as a result of which two major focuses have been agreed for 2022-23: Racism and LGBTQ+ issues.  We are also exploring whether to launch a Human Library project in 2023.
The Club received a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion award from the District for its leadership role in this area.
DfA’s main fundraiser, Comedy Night, was a huge success, and will be repeated this year, on October 15.  More than $8,000 was raised to support DfA activities, and with this funding in hand we granted four $1,000 scholarships to DHS students who’ve been active in DEI issues.  We had great coverage in the Clipper for these new scholarships and the winners.
Recognizing the Club’s special connection with Afghanistan – as an early funder of Razia Jan’s Ray of Hope school – DfA rose to the challenge of welcoming an Afghan refugee family to Duxbury.  Following a presentation to the Town Select Board, we were asked to form a task force to discover how the town should proceed.  Working with Catholic Charities and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, Karl and Catherine led this intensive effort, with the assistance of a large group of enthusiastic volunteers. Almost $50,000 was raised from Club members and the wider community.
The Afghan family is now well settled in, has welcomed a sixth child, and DARI’s focus has turned to developing their independence so they can move ahead with limited support during 2023. 


With our strengthening financial position, the Board increased the total awards from $3,000 a year to $5,000, awarded at this July’s Scholarship Night to Campbell Johnston and Molly Taberner.

Financial overview 

I’m pleased to say that the Club’s financial position is strong:
  • The Duck Race achieved $6,600 compared with our budget of $5,500;
  • Trivia Night raised $6,000 vs. budget $3,000 (all dedicated to the Ukraine refugee relief);
  • We collected $1,300 from the wine auction, $1,600 from the Kilimanjaro Challenge and $7,000 for Ukraine, none of which was budgeted, and also received $4,500 in unsolicited donations over our budgeted level.
As a result:
  • We increased our regular scholarships from $3,000 last year to $5,000 this year,
  • We’ve sent $12,000 to Ukraine;
  • We supported Polio Plus with $1,300;
  • We’ve made donations totaling $3,000 to the Lions’ Club food pantry, Razia’s School and the Senior Center;
Not counting DfA and DARI funds, that are now kept in separate bank accounts, we start the new year with more than $6,000 on hand.

Meeting schedule

We returned to in-person meetings, and held some meetings at breakfast and lunchtimes to accommodate members.  Lunch meetings at Tsang’s Café have been well-attended.  We have a new caterer at the Senior Center and initial indications are encouraging. 
We relaunched our speaker program in January with a video presentation of Bill’s trip to Antarctica followed by one about my Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.  On July 20 we hosted Philomena’s niece, Unkonda Diawara, for a presentation about Crown City Academy that she founded in Zanzibar.  We have several other speakers lined up, and I’m still hoping that we can persuade some members to tell their own stories. 

Rotary Foundation

Beginning with Rotary year 2022-23, all members’ annual dues have been increased by $100 to be forwarded to the Foundation, to ensure that every member is contributing.  This year we plan to resume the formation of one or more “Paul Harris clubs” if we can identify sufficient participants.

Public image

We now have a new leaflet to advise prospective members about the Club’s activities, and the website has been updated this year, supported by a new tool – Eventgroove – to better manage fundraising activities and dues payments.
We’ve been very fortunate to get a lot of coverage in the Clipper.
I’m hoping we have a member who can take on website updates as well as social media for the Club.  If you are interested, please let me know.

What’s next?

Duck Race – August 27
In the fall we plan to launch a fundraising campaign to replenish the Good Neighbor Fund.
Festival of Lights – November
Thank you for helping make Duxbury Rotary Club a vibrant part of the community!
Respectfully submitted,
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Maarten Hemsley
President 2021-23