Club to Host Railway Show at Old Home Day

Dracut Rotary is pleased to announce that the Club will be hosting the New Hampshire Garden Railway Society at this year’s Dracut Old Home Day, September 7, 2019. The NHGRS is a group of dedicated garden railroad enthusiasts from across New England with a shared interest in promoting the growth of large-scale trains and garden railroading. They participate in shows, displaying their club-owned layouts, to support events for groups such as  Rotaty, Lions Clubs and Schriners. They are renowned for their top quality layouts, featuring exceptional detail.  

“This Is something you’re not going to want to miss,” said Dracut Rotary Club President, Frank Antifonario. Frank first saw their display almost a year ago and was blown away by the trains, model buildings and landscaping. He began planning for the NHGRS’s participation in this year’s Old Home Day earlier this year. “The Club is really excited about being able to bring the Garden Railway Society to this year’s event,” added Frank.

Dracut Old Home Day opens at 9:00 am, Saturday, September 7th at the Daoulas School Complex on Lakeview Avenue. The Garden Railway display will be open for all to see from 9:00 am until the event closes at 5:00 pm. This exciting display will be set up inside Gagnon Harmony Hall and outside under a tent adjacent to the Hall. While there is no charge to view the railroads, donations will be accepted. 

To learn more about the New Hampshire Garden Railway Society, visit them at


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Club Welcomes District Governor Pam Anastasi

Club President Frank Antifonario, DG Pam Anastasi and AG Victor Tom

District Governor Pam Anantasi and Assistant Governor Victor Tom joined the Club at Lenzi’s on Tuesday, August 27th, for lunch and fellowship. DG Pam met with members, prior to the meal, for a review of our accomplishments during the past year and our plans for the 2019-2020 club season. She outlined some suggestions for garnering new members, and engaging existing members who have been unable to attend meetings regularly. 

Following the lunch, Pam spoke to us about the goals of Rotary International President, Mark Maloney. His theme for this year is Rotary Connects the World.  He has called on clubs to grow Rotary by working to increase membership, create alternative meeting experiences and offer service opportunities that engage members. 

Pam outlined some of her initiatives that she hopes will foster some of RI President Mark’s goals and encouraged the Club to take part in upcoming District Grants. She also challenged the Club to support her in her effort to join in the Polar Plunge in January 2020, by helping her to raise funds to support the event, which would bring the work of Rotary District 7910 to the attention of the public. 

Pam congratulated the Club on its past successes and plans for this fall, and presented Club President, Frank Antifonario, with this year’s theme banner, Rotary Connects the World.

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DHS Chorus Brings Holiday Favorites For Lunch

DHS Chorus at DRC Meeting

In keeping with a long standing tradition, the Dracut High School Chorus came to lunch on December 18th and brought with them holiday favorites to delight members and guests. Following the meal and regular club meeting, the Chorus regaled those at the gathering with a short program featuring several holiday and winter numbers that they will be performing at the Holiday Concert at DHS later in the week. Then director Ethan Lobenstine turned the program over to a “Sing Along” with Rotarians joining in. Again this holiday season, Club members left the meeting with true holiday spirit thanks to these excellent young performers. Thank you Dracut High Chorus!

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Dracut Rotary’s 12th Annual Gingerbread Competition

Dracut Rotary rang in the holiday season in style with its 12th Annual Gingerbread Competition on Saturday, December 1st. Hundreds of local residents packed Harmony Hall to see this year’s gingerbread creations. The event, held in conjunction with the town’s Tree Lighting Ceremony at the adjacent Daoulas School Complex, is the annual kick-off for Dracut’s holiday season. Visitors got to view dozens of entries, take chances to win their favorites and pick their choice for first, second and third place winners. Entertainment was provided by a string trio of Dracut High School students. Santa visited between 5:00 and 7:00 pm and there were free cookies, doughnuts, cocoa and coffee served all day along, with hundreds of gingerbread cookies for children to decorate. Donations and proceeds from the event are contributed annually to the Dracut Food Pantry.

This year’s creations were among some of the best ever, according to event chair Susan Neary. Choosing the winners was a tough choice for this year’s visitors. The creations were divided into four categories;  professional, amateur, young adult and children age 12 and under. Club members added to the creations, baking up their own entries. This year’s winners were:

1st place Professional Category

Professional:  1st – Bittersweet Bake Shop (Lynn Donnelly & Elisbet Dupont);  2nd – Sugar Coated Bakery (Jennifer Gryckiez);  3rd – Collette Turgeon

1st place Amateur Category

Amateur:  1st – Tricia & Lauren Natale;  2nd – John Cole;  3rd – Joann Smith

1st place Young Adult Category

Young Adults:  1st – Bryce Kelly;  2nd – Marissa Jones & Olivia Keating;  3rd – Sarah Turner & Addie Nelson

1st place Children 12 and Under Category

Children:  1st – Dimitri, Alyson & Kate Asikis;  2nd – The Bergeron Family;  3rd – Thomas Tziotzioras & Charlie Keating

1st place Rotary Category

Rotarians:  1st – Rachel & Frank Antifonario;  2nd – LouAnn Jendro:  3rd – Kate Dame

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DRC Hosts Middies Football Seniors

Middies Head Coach Jason Rivers is honored for Patriot’s Head Coach of the Week award.

In a tradition dating back more than 40 years, Dracut Rotary hosted the senior players on the Dracut Middies Football team at their meeting on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving . The senior team members were the club’s guests at their regular meeting to wish them well in their Thanksgiving eve game against Methuen.  

The players got a chance to experience Rotary and the club got a chance to congratulate Head Coach Jason Rivers on being named the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week on October 30, 2018, marking the Middies first playoff win since 2008.


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DRC Honors Those Who Support Our Veterans

On November 13, DRC held its 2nd Annual Veterans Appreciation luncheon at Lenzi’s. Members of the Dracut American Legion Post 315, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Greater Lowell Veterans Council, Nam Knights, the Veteran Outreach at Christ Church United, and the Veterans Resource Center at Middlesex Community College attended the meeting and shared their mission to serve those who served us. Staff from the MCC Veterans Resource Center provided extensive resource materials about their program for all present.

Dracut’s new Veterans Service Officer, Jeffrey Hollett, spoke about his experience as a returning veteran and his commitment to serve veterans in our community. Hollett expressed his thanks to the DRC for sponsoring this event and stressed the importance of letting all veterans know what help there is and how to access that help.

DRC is committed to making this event our yearly opportunity to thank those who dedicate their time and resources to helping and honoring our veterans.


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Students Share RYLA Experiences

RYLA students share their experiences at June conference. From l. to r. RYLA Chair LouAnn Jendro, Andrew Salois, Shakira Kawuba, Jillian Gomes, Rachael Doyle, Paige Dame, and Club President Chuck Moran.

The 2018 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) attendees were the guest speakers at Dracut Rotary Club’s annual RYLA Night on October 30th. They had been selected by Dracut Rotary to attend RYLA in March. High School sophomores  from suburban Boston, Metro West and central Massachusetts gathered at Fitchburg State University for the 3-day conference last June. The event included presentations, activities and workshops in leadership fundamentals, ethics, communication, and problem solving.

The students, along with their parents, enjoyed dinner and fellowship as guests of the club. It was then their turn to share their RYLA experiences with club members. Each spoke about the activities that they participated in that helped to build their confidence and leadership skills, as well as the friends from other communities that they made that weekend.

RYLA is a Rotary International event designed to promote leadership skills for sophomore students to use in high school and beyond. Approximately 200 students participated in RYLA 2018. Dracut Rotary Club has been selecting students to attend RYLA since the program’s inception in 1994.

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