Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown, RI
District 7950 - Club 6693
Chartered May 5, 1953

All proceeds will support the Middletown Rotary Club's charitable activities throughout the 2024-2025 fiscal year.

Welcome to Our Club!
We meet the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Wednesday at 6:30 pm
240 Aquidneck Ave
Middletown, RI 02842
Most meetings may be attended virtually.
If you wish to attend virtually, please email Tom
Our Service & Fundraising Activities
  • The Middletown Rotary Club works to respond to various local needs. Here’s a sample:

  • Annual Holiday Party at Lucy’s Hearth bringing joy to children and adults in need during the holiday season.

  • Community Clean-ups enhancing our local spaces by keeping them clean and inviting.

  • Daffodil planting beautifying our community one flower at a time.

  • Support to the Martin Luther King Center helping those in need by supporting essential programs.

  • SOS Senior Food Drive ensures that local Seniors receive the care and support they deserve.

  • Annual Spaghetti Dinner for Seniors creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for our senior community.

  • Local Literacy Projects fostering education and literacy within our community.

  • Trees for Middletown Valley Park adding to the natural beauty of our local park.

  • Summer Camp Scholarships empowering children with the opportunity to participate in enriching summer camp experiences.

  • Coat Drive keeps those in need in our community warm during the cold winter months.

  • Maui Fires Relief Fund Support providing immediate assistance and long-term recovery support to the people of Maui.

Our International Activities

The Middletown Rotary Club supports various International charitable initiatives including: 

  • Water for Cambodia Project: Founded by the Middletown Rotary Club in 2002, this initiative builds and installs household biosand water filters, wells, and latrines to safeguard rural communities against waterborne diseases.

  • Polio Eradication: Rotary International’s global efforts have achieved a remarkable 99.9% reduction in Polio cases worldwide, with only two countries still facing endemic cases.

  • The Rotary Foundation: Empowering Rotary members to enhance world understanding, promote goodwill, and work toward peace by improving health, providing quality educa

Recent Speakers

Ferass Sammoura received his PhD in Public Health with a concentration of Environmental Health Sciences from Florida International University (FIU) in 2023. His dissertation research focused on the effects of environmental exposures in neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, Dr. Sammoura focused on the interplay of organochlorine pesticides DDT and DDE in amyloid pathology, relevant to Alzheimer’s disease. His and his collaborators research is the first to ever discover mechanistic links for organochlorine pesticide exposure in Alzheimer’s disease.  Dr. Ferass Sammoura is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University.

Doug Brendel, a prominent figure in Ipswich,MA and beyond, graced our Rotary club with his inspiring presence last night. Known for his multifaceted talents as a writer, actor, and humanitarian, Doug captivated us with heartwarming stories and insights, transporting us to the heart of his humanitarian endeavors in the former Soviet Union.

For over two decades, Doug and his wife have spearheaded, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid in Belarus. What began as a noble mission has evolved significantly in the face of geopolitical turmoil, particularly with the Ukraine conflict engulfing the region. Doug's firsthand accounts shed light on some of the challenges faced by the people of Belarus.

Cheryl Hatch, the Newport Bureau Reporter at The Public's Radio/89.3 FM, brings a wealth of experience to her role. With a background spanning photo journalism and reporting across newspapers, wire services, and European press agencies, Cheryl is a seasoned multi-lingual storyteller and educator with extensive global exposure. Her international journalism career notably includes coverage of conflict in the Middle East and Africa.

In her capacity as a bureau reporter, Cheryl delves into the lives of individuals on Aquidneck Island and in Newport County, focusing keenly on the issues that shape their existence. During our recent meeting, Cheryl shared three very different stories, each offering a unique perspective on local issues. Fortunately, as her work is in radio, all three stories are accessible through links provided below.

Michelle Drew's presentation at Rotary emphasized the misconception that aging is inevitable and problematic, highlighting the prevalence of health issues associated with growing older. However, she stressed that with a focus on age-management solutions and lifestyle wellness, individuals can defy the stereotype of aging and enjoy healthier lives. 

Drew emphasized the importance of lifestyle changes in improving quality of life and slowing down the aging process. She presented us with 10 things we can do to improve our health. Ultimately, Drew's message encourages individuals to live actively and vibrantly throughout their lives, rather than simply managing symptoms in old age.

Find out more at: or contact her at:

View more about this topic at:

At our meeting on March 27th, Middletown Rotary member Bob Aldrich delivered a compelling update on the progress of the Water for Cambodia project. This initiative aims to enhance health and save lives in rural Cambodia by ensuring access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. Its impact in the Samre Province has been substantial, with over 35,000 biosand filters and more than 700 latrines installed to date. These efforts have resulted in clean drinking water and notably improved health conditions for over 200,000 individuals in Cambodia.
In the photo, club president Janice Kowalczyk presents a check on behalf of the Middletown Rotary Club in support of the Cambodian project. 
The Middletown Rotary recently hosted a breakfast conversation featuring Senator Jack Reed at the Wyndham hotel on March 25th. Senator Reed began by touching on the upcoming arrival of NOAA and an expanded Coast Guard presence in the Middletown area. While these developments promise increased employment opportunities, they also contribute to the ongoing challenge of affordable housing in our community.
On February 14th we were treated to Kim Usselman’s presentation and some interesting discussions.  Here is a summary of her presentation, “Middletown Library: A Journey Through Time and Vision for the Future” with a link to her slide presentation at the end.

On January 24th, we were honored to have Betty Galligan, the assistant governor for our District 7950, as our guest speaker. Betty has been a longstanding supporter of our club. She brought with her as a guest Sharon Johnson, the District Governor Elect for 2024-25. Betty led the session by highlighting numerous strengths of the Middletown Rotary Club, such as its 71 years of longevity, a robust membership size, our vibrant spirit, a strong club foundation, and the successful events and service activities we consistently provide to the community.

Subsequently, Betty guided us to explore additional aspects, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Discussions ensued on various ideas raised during the session, with a particular focus on the concern about the continuity of leadership. Many clubs have successfully employed a strategy involving a team of members committed to assuming leadership positions over successive years. This succession plan typically includes the Past President, President, President-elect, and President-nominee. The leadership team collaborates, offering mutual support, sharing expertise, and providing a robust mentoring period for incoming presidents.

Betty played a crucial role in helping the Middletown Rotary Club position itself using this strategy. Angel Gonzalez, a 21-year member of the club, and Chris Semonelli, a former club president, stepped up to become Co-Presidents for the term 2024-2025. The plan includes Cori Kilzi being in line for the presidency after them. This succession plan is expected to strengthen the club in the long term.

On January 10th, we had the pleasure of hosting Yolande Macias, the dedicated Founder and Director of Conexion Latina Newport.  Yolande provided us with heartfelt insight into the invaluable work her organization undertakes for the Latina community in Newport/Middletown. With warmth and passion, she illuminated the comprehensive range of services needed to assist non-English speaking newcomers in navigating their way to a new life here.



Meetings & Speakers
Upcoming Speakers
Past Speakers
Rotary News
Rotary continues to support Turkey as it rebuilds from earthquake

More than US$4 million funds water, education, agriculture supplies, and equipment for affected communities

An innovator with impact

Rotary’s latest alumni award honoree, Gaetano Scamarcio, pursues scientific and societal progress

Arbor daze: The therapeutic benefits of forest bathing

Awash in woodland wonder, a skeptical writer acknowledges the therapeutic benefits of forest bathing.

The playmaker

As an avid sports fan, President Stephanie Urchick is well-positioned to light the lamp, clear the bases, and split the uprights. Whatever the sports metaphor, she’s destined to keep Rotary in the winner’s circle

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Middletown
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