rotaryclubofbrighton | 1996 – 2005. Tackling bigger tasks.

1996 – 2005. Tackling bigger tasks.

The fifth decade of the Rotary Club of Brighton saw the first President to be impeached since

Andrew Johnson in 1868 and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team winning the World Cup.

But both were dwarfed by the event of such world-changing import that time will forever

be marked by “before” and “after”— the terror attacks that brought down the World Trade Center

and severely damaged the Pentagon. It was a world-changing decade for the Club, as well—

half a world away, building the first blood bank in the State of Orissa, India, and closer to home,

partnering with the Town of Brighton and the State of New York to restore Buckland House,

the Town’s second oldest Brighton-brick house, the Club’s signature 50th Anniversary project.


ROBERT O. BENTLEY was elected 40th Club President.

Under Bob’s leadership, the Club enjoyed many Club accomplishments in “Building the Future with Action & Vision.”

Especially notable were the 40th Anniversary celebration and hosting both the District Governor Nominees and the visiting GSE team from Germany.First Lady Marion entertained team members and their host families at a lovely brunch during their stay.

The Club rocked and rolled at the District Conference in Cleveland and participated in Chuck Turner’s new Citizen of the Year process.

All of this were made possible in large measure by an eminently successful Pancake Day organized by Deanna Woodhams and her committee of energetic workers.

tiger-woods-1997-masters-no-1The Club members actively pursued many ongoing programs in support of Special Olympics, LPGA, Easter Seals, Rotary Foundation, Camp Haccamo, Youth Exchange and Community Service.

The Club participated in sporting events, Foodlink work night, Haccamo cleanup and the Easter Seals Auction.

The Adopt-A-Highway program was supplanted by a new Club commitment initiated by Chuck Chapin to support Brighton Town Parks & Recreation department projects.

The Club’s own Chuck Turner was elected District 7120 District Governor Nominee Designate for the year 1998-1999.

At the griddle.

At the griddle.

Reports from both returning and outbound exchange students were well received and the Club welcomed our Club’s visiting student Kiran King from Australia for the first half of her year stay.

Three Paul Harris fellowships were awarded this year, and the Rotary Foundation Dinner and information meetings were well attended.

The resignations of several members cancelled out the number of inductions thus thwarting our goal of 57 members at year’s end.

The Brighton Rotary Foundation received a generous bequest in excess of $70,000 from the estate of Past President Ken Geiwitz, who passed away in the fall of 1996.

The Club was also saddened by the loss of Honorary members Bill Harper, Sr. (Charter) and George Ulp.


THOMAS R.WAHL, JR. was elected the 41st Club President.

The theme for the Club was to have a “Light ‘N Lively” time. The “Light” referring to the weight reduction of Dr. Scotty Law and the “Lively” meant a smile on your face with a good joke included.

lewinskyThe Club enjoyed the Hawn’s summer picnic and Clambake.

Pancake Day was GREAT with Erik Szakos as Chairman, and Jane donated her hot selling Beanie Babies to swell the profits.

The Holiday Auction made the Foundation, money and Santa Claus (Tony Conte) was a surprise.

The Club hosted the Governor .Nominees from 8 countries as part of the Governor Nominee Hospitality Program.

The Club made Ron Brand a Paul Harris Fellow, and Linda Hampton Citizen of the Year.

The Club participated in a soft ball game with the Special Olympians, the Easter Seal Softball Tournament in June and the Easter Seals Volleyball Game in February.

The Club visited Frontier Field for a Red Wings game and the War Memorial for a Rochester Americans Hockey game.

Staining Ken Anderson cabin.

Staining Ken Anderson cabin.

The Club replaced paneling at Camp Haccamo in the Ken Anderson Cabin and purchased new beds.

An exciting new blood bank project in partnership with a sister Club in India.was initiated.

Jane Forward went to India as a foreign exchange student.

Work was begun on Persimmon Park, Brighton’s newest recreational area.

The Club gained 2 members and lost 2 members.

Many from the Club attended the D7129 Conference in Richmond Hills, Canada.

Planning began for the District Conference ’99, with Chuck Turner-DGN and his Co-Chairs, Peter Schwarz and Chuck Chapin.

It was a busy and productive year.


ROBERT E. PARKER, III, was elected 42nd Club President.

This year the Brighton Rotary Club was honored to have one of its own, Chuck Turner, serve as District Governor for District 7120.

With this honor. of course, came the responsibility of hosting the District Conference, and, under the guidance of Co-Chairs Chuck Chapin and Peter Schwarz, our District Conference was a stunning success.

  • Over $53,000 was raised for youth projects with the Up With People Concert
  • There was 100% club participation for the District’s 68 clubs
  • And a District History Book was published, edited and designed by Doug Potter
Blood ban project.

Blood ban project.

The  Club was awarded a 3-H Project Matching Grant from Rotary International to fund a blood bank in the State of Orissa in India. Thanks to Bob Penty, B.C. Dash and Ram Shrivastava, many people will have easier access to blood services. These three Rotarians were honored as Paul Harris Fellows for their work.

A very busy and good year for Brighton Rotary!


DEANNA L. WOODHAMS was elected 43rd ClubPresident.

The year began with cleaning up Persimmon Park

The Club mourned the death of Larry Leuscher, former member and now an Honorary Member.

Evenst included participation in Special Olympics Softball, working for Food Link and at the annual visit with campers at Camp Haccamo, Rotarians actively participated in the evening’s entertainment.

Many Rotarians and family members attended a Red Wing baseball game and the Clambake at the Hawns’.

Community Service Awards went to Calder Flynn and Brendan Whelehan, recent McQuaid High School graduates.

Pancake Day raised $6,200 and the Holiday Auction raised $3,300.

The Club participated in the December sale of tickets for the LPGA, and during LPGA week again provided delivery service of food and products to the concession tents.

Scott Law and Bob Penty went to India for a month to help spread awareness on the importance of blood banks and to assist in Polio Plus vaccinations.

The Club welcomed exchange students from India (Sami Mishra) and Brazil (Laura Mello).

Under chairmanship of PDG Chuck Turner, the Club revised the By-laws and reactivated new goals of membership growth and retention.

With the $500 prize money earned from the Club’s ticket sales for the “Up With People” concert, nnuals, perennials and mulch were purchased for the Oatka Home— one Monday meeting was spent planting and sprucing up the gardens with the boys.

The “Governor-Elect Hospitality Program” was renamed the “Milt Matthews Governor-Elect Hospitality Program,” and sixteen Governor Elects from eight countries were hosted— the program received First Place in International Service at the District Conference.

Bob Parker and Bob Bentley were awarded Paul Harris Fellowships.

Robert Pieters, President, Heritage Christian Home, Inc., was named our Citizen of the Year.


JEAN R. LOCUS was elected 44th Club President.

Going forward with the revisions of the By-laws and recommendations of the newly formed Strategic Planning Committee, the Club was able to maintain many of its traditions while adding several “firsts.”

Woven throughout the year was the Club’s commitment to Camp Haccamo with its annual summer visits and entertainment with the campers as well as a first winter meeting, enjoying Tim Forward’s great chili and presentation on  camp functions.

The Club’s first family picnic at Springdale Farm was enjoyed by many thanks to Ron Little and Heritage Christian Homes.

The Club combined the induction of Mark Keefe as one of its new active members with sharing a steak roast with the boys from the Oatka House, thanks to the efforts of Bill Hessel and Bill Sheldon.

“What’s Our Goal?” – “$12,000.00” echoed in members’ ears from August to October as Chuck Turner, Chair of the Annual Pancake Day— and the efforts of the entire Club put the total over the top with the proceeds exceeding $15,000.

Thanks to Tom Wahl and his band of auctioneers, the Annual Holiday auction was a great success, and sharing some of the proceeds, the Club embarked on delivering much-needed items, as well as candy, to the mothers and children who reside at the YWCA.

Hospitality Program at Eastman House.

Hospitality Program at Eastman House.

Once again, the Club hosted and enjoyed thoroughly over 18 Governors-Elect and their families as part of the annual Milt Matthews Hospitality Program— Pete and Elaine Schwarz were recognized for their long commitment and contributions to making this event so successful over the years.

It was all pink when the Club held its first baby shower (perhaps first in the District) for one of its very own active members, Judy Holton, who delivered a beautiful prospective future Rotarian.

It was also a first when the Club inducted Lauren Blew, daughter of Gib Blew, as one of our active members, creating the first father/daughter duo in our club.

Continuing the practice of combining the Citizen of the Year and Paul Harris Award nights, Volney Frankel and Scott Law created a wonderful evening when the Club bestowed Paul Harris awards on Gib Blew and Dick Crawford, and Pete Schwarz was the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award.

As is customary, the Club committed several days and many hours to the LPGA tournament, with Chuck Chapin and Ron Brand leading the way.

Two new items were added to the year’s agenda – work nights at INTERVOL and Corbett’s Glen.

“Changeover” night found the Club at a new location with a new Club brochure, as well as the opportunity to wrap up the year by presenting two awards— our traditional Rotary Scholarship Award and then  a “first” – the Four Avenues of Service Citation Award— given to Bob Penty.


WILLIAM K. HESSELL was elected 45th Club President.

What a year! A record 12 new members, reaching the goal of 1 new member each month thanks to the efforts of our membership committee, led by PDG Chuck Turner.

The Club continued to help the community with support of the YWCA, Heritage Christian Homes, Boy Scouts, Special Olympics, Easter Seals, Brighton Drug Task Force, Oakta House, India Blood Bank, Brighton Central Schools, Skating Association of the Blind, Brighton Baseball, Food Link, Intervol and Camp Haccamo.

Members enjoyed outings to Springdale Farm, Oakta House, YWCA, Food Link Intervol, Heritage Christian Homes Stables, Rochester Baseball, Special Olympics softball, LPGA, Camp Haccamo and our picnic at Ellison Park.


Bill Moehle led the Club to over $12,000 raised from efforts on Pancake Day.

Peter Sear chaired the Annual Holiday Auction; with proceeds benefiting the Foundation.

BC Dash chaired the Milt Matthews Hospitality event, which hosted 22 Governor Elects from around the world.

Paul Harris awards went to BC Dash, Bill Sheldon, Marge Bleeg, Dottie Frankel and Marion Bentley.

The Citizen of the Year Award went to Martha Sciremammano.

Monies from Larry Luescher fund were given to Catholic Charities for their new home for women, with a room being named in his honor.

President Bill Hessel played 101 holes of golf to raise over $1,200 in pledges from club members to benefit Springdale Farm.

Marge Bleeg provided outstanding leadership working with Interact students, Pittsford Rotary, Intervol, Oakta House and Brighton Rotary to collect blankets for refugees in Asia. This work project won District 7120 Honors for Best International project at the District conference in Lancaster, PA.

Finally after the Club’s many hours spent working on LPGA, the year comes to its conclusion, but before it was over the Club received the Presidential Citation for our hard work and efforts in the community. Thanks for a GREAT year!


WILLIAM D. SHELDON III was elected the 46th Club President, and he was assisted by every member to maintain the success of Brighton Rotary.

In August, Ron Little hosted Springdale Farm and Mark Keefe hosted the Oatka House picnic.

Governor Don Alhart visited the Club in October and met Maude Harris (Scott Law).

Pancake Day, under Jim Bishop raised $16,000 from pancake sales and support posters from business.

Tim Forward hosted “sponsor appreciation night” at Camp Haccamo.

President Bill suffered Congestive Heart Failure in November and President-Elect Eric Szakos took over meetings.

Vice President Volney Frankel promoted attendance at District events and gave a weekly prayer, Deanna Krusenstjerna chaired programs, Chuck Krusenstjerna led the Club in music, PDG Chuck Turner recruited outstanding new members and Bob Penty introduced us to Priyanka Gulati and Sally Clark, our Rotary Exchange students from India and Australia..

Under Tom Wahl, Brighton Service Foundation’s Holiday Auction raised $3,000 of Club’s $8,000 pledge to Polio Plus.

making YWCA gift baskets.

YWCA gift baskets.

Bill Hessel organized holiday gift baskets for families at the YWCA and Catholic Charities and Wegmans gift cards were given to Department of Social Services residents.

In January, Clark Wackerman and Helen Matthews, completely surprised Milt Mathews with a celebration of his 90th birthday— Pete Schwarz arranged a “surprise visit” of Carl Matthews by Internet and in honor of Milt’s years as Editor, Editor Sheri Wood changed the BRIGHTSIDE format to the Adobe Acrobat Reader *.pdf to permit photographs of his 90th.

BC Dash organized the annual District 7120 PDG Milt Matthews Governor Elect Hospitality Program.

While terror alerts canceled many High School trips, the Brighton School Board permitted Brighton students to attend the District Conference in Montreal.

The Club again combined Citizen of The Year with Paul Harris Awards. Rick Blevins recognized the contribution of Carol Tometsko to Brighton Youth and we added four Paul Harris Fellows.

A committee was formed to plan the Club’s Centennial contribution to Brighton. Bill Moehle helped the Club cosponsor with the Town a museum and recreational facility at the old Gonsenhauser farm.

In June. members attended a Red Wings game, put up and took down signs at the LPGA,

Chuck Chapin supervised LPGA concession distribution and Ron Brand found volunteers.

Marjorie Bleeg presented “Interact Female Volunteer of the Year” to Pritika Gupta, “Interact Male Volunteer of the Year” to co-president Jeff Hsu, a $1,000 Brighton Rotary Scholarship to co-president Raj Srinivasan and Rick Blevins awarded a RYLA scholarship to Asmah Abushigar for leadership in Interact.

At changeover, with Governor Don Alhart present, the Club presented the Rotary International Interact Charter for Brighton High School to Dr. Harvey Peris, Superintendent of Brighton Schools. The gavel and horns were passed to President Eric Szakos by a thankful Past President Bill.


Taking a ride on the Haccamo Railroad.


ERIK F SZAKOS was elected 47th Club President— youngest President in the Club’s history. The Rotary theme for the year was LEND-a- HAND.

The Program chairman presented the Club with many interesting and enjoyable topics— some favorites included programs from a motivational speaker, a Registered Nurse in Humor, Cameron House, AIDS Rochester, Special Olympics and Jacqui Waggoner, Grandmother of Hunter Kelly, who left the membership in tears after her talk on Krabbes disease

Early in the year District Governor ? Terri Hall made the Governor’s annual visit and helped award two Paul Harris recognitions to Glen Skalny and Tim Forward.

With the efforts of Tom Wahl, Jr and Bill Moehle, Hawthorne’s was the site of a broadcast debate between Maggie Brooks and Major Bill Johnson for Monroe County Executive— Tom performed the duties of moderator flawlessly!

Thanks to Rick Blevins who not only led the “Festival of Pancakes” parade to raise $15,000 for Club, community and world projects, but took over as Interact Chairman for Marjorie Bleeg during her leave of absence— Marge taught Rick well as he helped the Brighton High School Interactors organize many community service opportunities.

king-kongAs President, Erik enjoyed being nostalgic. He brought back some Past President’s activities, such as the 20 week Raffle started by PP Ron Brand, raising over $1000 for future purchases of video equipment for the benefit of the Club; PP Chuck Turner’s use of random seating assignments at dinner was used on occasion to promote more fellowship among the membership. Erik also ran the first sdrawkcab meeting since Milt Matthews was President in 1967-68.

Many annual programs were enjoyed by all:

  • Rotarians and family participated in the Special Olympic softball games.
  • The Holiday auction was again  chaired by Tom Wah, raiseing over $4000 with the aid of his auctioneers and of course, Tony Claus. The night was made extra special with musical entertainment provided by vocalists from Allendale Columbia, including our member Jim Bishop’s daughter, Caroline.
  • The Milt Matthews Governor Hospitality Program committee did a wonderful job hosting the many Governors from around the world that always enjoy the brief respite from the long journey to their training in Anaheim, CA.
  • In May, the Club celebrated our Paul Harris Night/Citizen of the Year awards dinner— Paul Harris Fellow recipients were Chuck Krustenjerna and Rick Blevins, while Brighton Chief of Police, Thomas Vogel accepted the Citizen of the Year Award, and many community leaders were present to help celebrate his many years of service and commitment— all thanks, to Chairmen Chuck Chapin and Scotty Law.
  • June is traditionally dedicated to volunteering at the LPGA tournament, and 2004 was no different, but with one little wrinkle— the Krusentenjerna’s led a group of Brighton Rotarians that worked to beautify the Anderson Cabin at Camp Haccamo as others tended to the Sign duty at Locust Hill.

Changeover night was June 21st and Erik handed over the gavel to new President Rick Whelehan knowing the Club is in excellent hands.

Thanks to all Brighton Rotarians that made 2003-2004 a very special year of Service Above Self.


Rick Whelehan was elected the Club’s 49th President.

This was Rotary’s Centennial Year and the Club’s Centennial Committee Chairperson, Peter Schwarz, led the Club in coordination with the Town of Brighton and the State of New York thru Senator Joe Robach to sponsor restoration of the Buckland Farm House.

hp-sorcerers-stonePancake Day-Co-Chairs-Sheri and Marcia made this event a smashing success, with over 100 Posters sold!

The Holiday Auction with Chairman, Tom Wahl, and his committee was held at Hawthorne’s and was a rousing success!

Members again volunteered at the YWCA, Intervol, Foodlink, Unified Softball and attended the District Conference at Kuchers,

The International Convention in Chicago, the LPGAand the Milt Matthews Governor Elect Hospitality Program all events shared by Brighton Rotarians at different levels!

Thanks to Bill Hessel, the Club’s Golf Tournament was a great success and laid the foundation for  coming years!

Tony Conte, Bob Monahan and Rick Whelehan were made Paul Harris Fellows.

The Buckland Farmhouse before renovations.

The Buckland Farmhouse before renovations.

The Club was saddened by the passing of Carl Matthews, the Club’s 18th President and Howie Spindler— both were very important in the history and fabric of the Club!

Changeover was held on the Harbor Town Belle— a wonderful way to make the transition into Sherri Woods’ year.

Rick thanks everyone for their help, involvement and energy.


Sherri Wood was elected the Club’s 50th President

Members enjoyed the Changeover Dinner aboard the Harbortowne Belle.

The entire Club continued to emphasize the Centennial Project, including brick sales, solicitation of major donors and the golf tournament which netted more than $7500 for the project.

grey-s-anatomy-greys-anatomy-1663492-1024-768-grey-s-anatomy-sons-of-anarchy-doctor-who-fringe-weeds-5-tv-shows-to-binge-watch-jpeg-50422Many members participated in the Town’s July 4th festivities and Gideon Cobb Day and in the Special Olympics Unified Softball Tournament.

The Club received a Certificate of Recognition from the Rotary Foundation for the Blood Bank Project.

Ron Little chaired the most successful Pancake Day yet—Better, Better, BETTER—earning the Club more than $17,000 to support the Club’s activities.

Tony Conte and Tom Wahl organized yet another Holiday Auction at The Gatherings.

A greatly expanded (at the last moment) Christmas Basket distribution at the YWCA was pulled off by Bill Hessel and Tom Wahl, thanks in part to Foodlink, which donated much of the goodies distributed. The Club returned this generosity by spending a night sorting food at Foodlink, at the behest of Volney Frankel.

Foodlink sorting.

Foodlink sorting.

Our Thai exchange student, Suprawee Pongthongcharoen, whom we know as “Pach” delighted us with a traditional Thai dance program and by cooking a delicious Thai dinner.

We celebrated Milt Matthew’s 93rd birthday at St. John’s Home.

A record 23 Governors Elect from around the world participated in the Milt Matthews Governor Elect Hospitality Program.

With the help of some of the Interact Club members, we cleaned up Corbett’s Glen.

Members attended the District Assembly in Palmyra and the District Conference in State College, PA.

Our citizen of the year was former Brighton Town Justice James Morris and Charlie Fischer and Sherri Wood were honored as Paul Harris Fellows and a dinner at Locust Hill Country Club.

We inducted three new members, Christine Tilley, Ann Marie Cook, and Nancy Chin. Sadly, we lost Howad Spindler, Ed Case, Bob Bentley, and Haskell Rosenberg during the year, and on July 4, we were shocked to learn of the sudden death of Charlie Fischer.