Let me introduce myself to you. I am Tammy Heffernan and I have been elected as the president of the Wallingford Rotary Club. I am very honored to have this distinction and humbled by the wonderful work that some many others have done prior to my year as president. A very heartfelt thank you goes out to Donald Glendenning, our immediate past president, who had the faith in me to believe that I had what it takes to lead our little club this year. Another very big thank you to Adrian Eisler-Williams, another past president who introduced me to Rotary and warmly welcomed me to our club and helped to make me feel very much at home in a very short amount of time.
For those of you who don’t know me, I am an attorney who is a general practitioner focusing on estate planning, probate court matters, real estate and general law. I am happy to help people navigate through their encounters with the legal process and I hope that I make it a little easier and more personable in the process. I have a wonderful husband and three sons who are all in college pursuing their own dreams. A New Jersey native by birth, I get to live here on my own little piece of heaven in beautiful Vermont and have for a good number of years now.
In addition to Rotary, I am also on the local district school board and enjoy spending time both gardening or cross-country skiing, (depending on the time of year) and reading a good book by the wood stove in the winter with a great cup of tea. I am lucky to be blessed with the company of good friends and I enjoy cooking and baking especially for my friends and family. If you’ve been to one of our recent pork dinners, you may have tasted bread I baked or some yummy dessert I baked. Enough about me, onto the important stuff!
Our little Rotary club (we are under 20 members) does a lot of good, community things which I have every intention of continuing.
We have a dictionary project founded by East Wallingford resident and long time Rotarian, Les Congdon, who sadly just recently passed away. Each year, our club buys and gives dictionaries to the third grade students at several local elementary schools. Les championed this project and we look forward to carrying it on in his memory for many years to come. The thank you letters from those kids are so adorable and are looked forward to by our members each year.
Another great community event is Bike Safety where we, along with community partners, provide a day of bicycle fun and safety. We give away free helmets, helmet fitting and bike inspections for local kids. Each year, this event has lots of participation from the community, our club and volunteers. There are lots of things to do, such as our obstacle course and face painting and raffle for several free bicycles. Did I mention food? There is also complimentary food, drinks and snacks in addition to those free helmets. We love putting this event on with help from our local businesses and neighbors.
We also sponsor our Fishing Derby and Clinic each year where a community member volunteers the use of their pond that we stock with fish for our young community fisherman and fisherwomen to catch. There is a fishing clinic that starts the day and prizes at the end of the day for participants.
We also sponsor several fundraising events during the year, such our annual Lobsterfest (it’s coming folks August 28th – tickets will be on sale soon!) at the Boys Camp at Elfin Lake which is a wonderful community event, our pork dinners in the spring and fall and our coin drop. Monies raised through these efforts are used for scholarships, dictionaries and other community service projects, such as the stacked rail fencing we donated and helped to install at the Stone Meadow Nature Center in Wallingford this spring.
My personal goal this year is to start an Interact Club at our local high school. Many of these students so generously give their time and talent each year to help the success of our club. I hope that by sponsoring an Interact Club we can develop and enrich that bond and encourage those students to continue their selfless community service throughout their lives by sticking with Rotary as they graduate high school and go on to do great things in the world.
I hope that I can encourage members of our community who have not had the pleasure of attending one of our meetings and learning about Rotary and its motto of “service above self” to join us. While we normally meet Monday mornings at 7 a.m. for a breakfast meeting, we are going to revise our schedule this year to include one evening meeting per month for a relaxing dinner meet and greet. My purpose in doing this is to provide a setting where I hope that our students, their parents and our community members would be able to join us and find out, as I have, all about our, small but mighty club! There will be more information on that coming your way soon, I promise!
If you have an idea for a community service project or would like to learn more about our club or Rotary in general, I hope that you reach out to me, or one of our other Rotarians, or stop by the Little Red Schoolhouse on Monday morning at 7 a.m. and join us for a delicious breakfast provided by Wallingford Country Store ($10).
We, as Rotarians, desire to help make our community a better place. Please let me know how we can better do that. Thank you!