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

In the spirit of community care, from February 14th to March 14th, the Middletown Rotary Club is teaming up with the Middletown Senior Citizens Center to support seniors facing food shortages. Help us make a difference by:

Purchasing gift cards from Middletown supermarkets (Aldi, Shaws, or Stop & Shop) and dropping them off at the Middletown Senior Center (670 Green End Ave) or sending a check (made out to Middletown Rotary Club) to P.O. Box 4258, Middletown, RI 02842, or using this link to donate directly. We'll purchase gift cards on your behalf.

Let's unite and ensure our seniors have essential groceries. Your generosity directly impacts lives. Thank you for supporting seniors in our community!

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
Upcoming Events
Our 2023 Service & Fundraising Activities
  • February: Provided $2170 worth of grocery store gift certificates to the Middletown Senior Center, benefiting seniors and other locals in need of food.

  • March: Hosted a lively spaghetti dinner for seniors at the Middletown Senior Center with a raffle raising $1000 for a local family in immediate need.

  • April: Participated in the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce Expo, giving away August Steakout tickets. Engaged with local businesses and nonprofits promoting upcoming club service projects.

  • May: Teamed up with the Portsmouth/Tiverton Rotary Club and community volunteers for a "Community Day of Service" clean-up at Middletown Valley Park. Contributed to the creation of a native garden by weeding, planting, and mulching the raised bed.

  • June: Hosted a food drive to support the urgent needs of the MLK food pantry. Collected 657 pounds of food at Staples and an additional 126 pounds at the Newport County YMCA.

  • July: Extended a Helping Hand to All Saints STEAM Academy by cleaning out the school connector for potential educational use in the future.

  • August: Held the Middletown Rotary’s 28th Annual Steakout at Kempenaar’s Clambake Club. $7733 was raised for local and international causes.

  • September: Funded spring flowering bulbs for planting in the raised bed welcoming visitors to Middletown Valley Park.

  • September: Conducted a successful Bingo Night at Vasco da Gama Hall. This, our first Bingo night fostered laughter, excitement, and community spirit and while raising $916.

  • September: Middletown Rotary Charitable Foundation contributed $2,000 to the Hawaii District 5000 for disaster aid to victims of the Maui fires.

  • October: Hosted a Million Dollar Meal (MDM) and tour of the newly renovated Newport YMCA, raising $423 to support the "End Polio Now" campaign, a Rotary International campaign which is extremely close to eradicating wild polio worldwide.

  • November: Organized our first coat drive collecting and distributing 488 warm coats and more than 300 winter accessories to the Martin Luther King Food Pantry and other local organizations

  • December: Hosted our annual Lucy's Hearth holiday party at the Wyndham, bringing together Rotary members, Interact Club youth, and our Rotary district leadership for an evening of joy and goodwill.

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
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.

The Middletown Library has a rich history dating back to 1848, evolving through various milestones, including building transitions and renovations. Currently facing challenges with inadequate space, structural issues, and limitations, the library aims to redefine its future.

Envisioning a new, adaptable, and sustainable space, the plan includes spacious meeting rooms, program areas, and dedicated spaces for different age groups, fostering community engagement. The library seeks to enhance outdoor spaces and maintain a commitment to inclusivity. The need for trained staff and adequate resources is emphasized to realize the mission and vision.

The town has plans for a new building including a bond for its construction on the November ballot. Next Steps include forming a Building Committee for expertise, considering additional fundraising efforts, and the creation of a Library Foundation. Plans involve temporary relocation during construction, and community involvement in the decision-making process, reflecting a bold step towards the library's future.  The Library = The heart of any community

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.



Hello, I'm Larry Kraman, a passionate individual with roots in Brooklyn, New York. My journey began at Brooklyn College, where I initially pursued law but discovered my true calling in music. As a recording engineer, I captured every note of the music department's performances and later established a recording studio within the department. My knowledge extended to starting the Newport Classic CD music label, releasing numerous classical pieces.

Anticipating changes in the music industry, I transitioned to filmmaking, producing three full-length films. My story reflects dedication to music, recording, and filmmaking, with a knack for building relationships in the evolving entertainment landscape. I'm always eager to share my enriching experiences and insights. Read more below to find links to his films and enjoy at your own pace.

Larry is eager to leverage his talents and experience to contribute to the club. He's proposing an engaging video project that involves creating short film interviews with each current member. Larry suggests conducting these interviews at my home studio, assuring everyone that it won't be an interrogation. Importantly, no interview will be presented until the subject has had a chance to review it.

The interview process is designed to start with a casual discussion about the member's name, background, and the reasons behind their involvement in the Middletown Rotary Club. Larry will then guide the conversation based on the member's responses.

For any inquiries or clarifications regarding these proposed projects, feel free to reach out to Larry directly.

Shawn Brown, the Middletown Town Administrator, gave a talk to the Middletown Rotary Club on October 11, 2023 regarding the 2023 Middletown Middle-High School Bond Referendum. The presentation highlighted the importance of the upcoming bond referendum for constructing new, modern, and efficient educational facilities, benefiting all students and ensuring the future readiness of Middletown schools.  Read more for the key points from his presentation:

"Dr. Dennis Sheehan, retired professor of Economics at the Smeal College of Business gave an energizing talk on the advancements in generative AI, describing its ability to generate text and images much more cheaply than humans. Dr. Sheehan went on to describe the possible impact of AI on the economy, focusing on whether AIs will take over most jobs and create more economic inequality. He discussed some reasons for optimism, followed by a lively question and answer period with attendees.  A particular topic of interest to Rotarians was, "will AI increase or decrease the economic gaps between the developed world and the developing world."  
Steve Fine, the President of the Melanoma Education Foundation, delivered an eye-opening presentation in September. He discussed the importance of melanoma awareness, early detection, and prevention. He helped us understand both the risks and the ways to protect ourselves from it including valuable information on how to recognize the signs of melanoma, the role of regular skin checks, and the significance of sunscreen and protective measures.  For both those members that attended and for those that missed this valuable presentation, Steve has sent us follow-up links.  I encourage you to view these and to share them with others. 

    Erin O'Gara Dollard, Senior Philanthropy Officer at the Newport Hospital Foundation, recently addressed our club to shed light on an important partnership between Newport Hospital and Bradley Hospital. The aim of this partnership is to raise $5 million for the development of an eight-bed adolescent behavioral health unit at Newport Hospital. This unit will provide essential services for young individuals aged 12 to 18 suffering from acute mental health disorders.

    Meetings & Speakers
    5:30 - Board Meeting
    Mar 13, 2024 5:30 PM
    Ella M. - Speaker TBD
    Mar 13, 2024 6:30 PM
    Bob Aldrich - Water for Cambodia
    Mar 27, 2024 6:30 PM
    Rotary News
    Rotary projects around the globe March 2024

    Learn how Rotary clubs are taking action in the United States, Canada, Hungary, South Africa, and India.

    Customize your Rotary convention with tours

    The Host Organization Committee has organized tours that Rotary members can experience before and after the Rotary International Convention.

    Polio mapping goes high tech

    Geotracking improves polio outbreak response targeting, ensuring fewer children are left behind

    Engineer follows the science of water

    Rotary scholar Isis Mejias dedicates her education and expertise to providing an essential human need — water.

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