Wilton Rotary welcomes new officers
The Wilton Rotary Club installed new officers during its 35th annual dinner at Rolling Hills Country Club last month, including long-time Rotary member Bud Boucher, CEO of Tesoro Enterprises, Inc., as president.
Other officers for the 2016-17 year include:
- Richard Kent, immediate past-president.
- Christene Freedman, president-elect.
- Andy Mais, treasurer.
- Susan Goldman, secretary.
- Chris Lavin, sergeant-at-arms.
In addition to the club’s officers, Wilton Rotary's board of directors includes Pat Russo, Elizabeth Edwards, Carol Johnson, Paul Hafter, and Laila Khouri, who will serve as speaker chairman.
Boucher, a Wilton Rotary Club member since 1982, said a president-elect is “nominated and elected by the membership as a whole” each year.
“We have a president waiting behind me — the president-elect — and there’s a process of training that’s put on by the Rotary district, which they call the president-elect training,” said Boucher.
“During this year, the president-elect [Freedman] will go to two or three different sessions to learn about both the internal workings of Rotary and how it operates on an international basis.”
Events and activities
Each year, the Wilton Rotary Club hosts a number of annual events to raise money for charities and programs — the fall carnival and crafts fair being its two major fundraisers, said Boucher.
“Our biggest fundraising event is the fall carnival, which we’ve been doing for 20-plus years,” he said. “We also have a crafts fair that is held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in the town center that’s been going on for at least 10 years.”
The Wilton Rotary also holds an annual rose sale in June.
“We’re always looking for new events,” said Boucher, “but we’re one club in Wilton out of four or five that are always trying to find ways to raise money for charities, so the weekends get pretty tied up and there’s not a lot [of space].”
Boucher said the club raises around $25,000 a year and gives “most, if not all of it away.”
“We use our money to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in senior citizens’ homes at no charge,” he said.
“We also offer a couple of high school scholarships and work with the food pantry and Wilton Social Services to do Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets.
Boucher said the Wilton Rotary Club also gives grants to five or six charitable programs in the area each year.
In addition to making sure the Wilton Rotary Club’s annual fundraisers, events and programs run smoothly, Boucher said, his biggest goal as president is to increase club membership.
“We would certainly like to grow the club,” he said. “That’s my biggest goal this year — to get membership up and get it a little younger.”
Boucher said the Wilton Rotary Club currently has about 35 members and would like to add five to seven new members in order to “engage in other activities.”
“You need people to do that stuff — not just fund-raising and fund-spending,” he said. “There are eyeball-to-eyeball programs that need people, then of course, the different events need to be staffed.”
Boucher said the club has tried different ways to recruit new members, such as mass mailings to businesses, but “nothing’s been very successful.”
“We’re trying this year to focus on individuals who we think would make good Rotarians and then go after them one-on-one,” he said. “We’re going to try that this year and see if we can be more successful.”
The Wilton Rotary Club meets at Marly’s Bar and Bistro on Old Ridgefield Road every Friday at 12:15.
To learn more about the club, visit wiltonrotaryclub.org.