NEW BRITAIN – The Rotary Club of New Britain-Berlin presented face masks to 10 non-profit organizations as part of the Million Mask Challenge during its club meeting Thursday afternoon.
Rotary Club members along with representatives from about eight of the organization, like Paulette Fox, executive director of OIC, James Jones, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of New Britain, and Dana Smith, pastor of New Life II Church and President of North Oak NRZ.
“Rotary International’s goal was to impact the communities, and when they expressed that they were going to give us an allotment of masks, the biggest initiative I wanted the Rotary Club of New Britain to do was actually give back to the grass root organizations that would typically be overlooked,” President Bo Brown said.
The club chose groups that are at the forefront of the pandemic dealing with children, the community and are in the inner city.
“In our club we are in touch with so many organizations and we know what their needs are so we were able to put in requests,” said Janis C. Jerman, Rotary Club official.
There are Rotary Clubs across the country that is participating in the Million Mask Challenge.
“Our district is the northern counties of Connecticut and western counties of Massachusetts,” Jerman aid. “We had 80,000 masks in our district that were distributed.”
The Rotary Club of New Britain-Berlin gave a total of 8,000 masks – 800 per group.
“We really appreciate these masks. We have a lot of clients and residential programs so they will actually be utilized. So thank you,” said Ann Lavoie, program coordinator at CMHA.
“We treat children and families who suffer from abuse and neglect. As you know, we treat children from ages 2-19, so you can imagine that there are always one or two that forget their masks,” said Gail Lebert, director of partnership development at Klingberg Family Centers. “So we’re so very grateful for this generous gift of masks.”
The Rotary Club of New Britain-Berlin is a service club that raises funds for the benefit of scholarship programs, local community projects/organizations and the efforts of the Rotary Foundation worldwide.
“Rotary is here to help. We’re here to be a part of the community. And if you don’t know what the Rotary is come and visit us on a Thursday,” Brown said. “I am here to make a change. I’m the first minority president that Rotary has had in our 100-year history.”