Official Newsletter of the Salem Rotary Club

This week at Rotary...

Renowned Storyteller
In true storyteller fashion, Tony regaled the Club with stories from his youth to today, with a focus on how he found and turned his passion into his profession. Last year marked his 30th year as a storyteller, and he began his presentation by stating that meeting over zoom is like getting a kiss over the telephone. It is not as good as the real thing but is better than nothing.
Tony grew up as 1 of 6 in Defiance, Ohio. The son of a glazer, he joined the Army out of high school in order to go to college through the GI bill. He was stationed in Germany for two years and travelled extensively with friends while in the service and then again for a few months after his discharge.
In a VW van, he and his friends made their way around Europe on a very tight budget; sometimes sharing a can of tuna four ways! He had a great time in the UK and met a local girl who brought him and his friends to see a castle. It began to rain on the way down, so he carried the girl on his shoulders to keep her out of the mud. He tripped, and while he didn’t drop his new friend, he did gash his knee, which needed stitches. He removed those stitches on this own two weeks later, creating an infection that required two weeks in a full leg cast. Once he was out of that cast, he went back on the road to visit Greece.
He returned home, where he moved back in with his parents. Unsure of what to do next, he worked at a tire factory, where there were no windows to let he joy in. He went to college on the GI bill, graduating with a degree in international relations in 1983, and later went to law school before deciding that it wasn’t for him. Following that he biked the California coast with some friends before returning home again, where he found joy in the quality time he got to spend with his parents. 
Tony found his way to Massachusetts in the late 1980s and worked as a house painter and in a group home. He was inspired to become a storyteller after hearing a radio broadcast by Judith Black in 1987 and seeing her live later. He became a collector and teller of stories first for every audience, but then he found his knack and focus on sharing stories with kids. He told a wonderful story about connecting with a boy in one kindergarten classroom whose teacher shared that his part in Tony’s story was the first time anyone at the school had heard his voice. The child is autistic and had never really engaged at school or in class before that moment.
The EarlyAct Club at the Phoenix School joined our meeting and asked Tony several amazing questions about his craft and journey. The presentation turned out to be an all around fantastic story about a fantastic storyteller.


Maria Lewis of Danvers
Sold by Matt Ingram

VisIting Rotarians & Guests

None this week.


Rinus shared that practices developed through Rotary’s distribution of the polio vaccine are now being implemented in distributing the coronavirus vaccine throughout the world, particularly in Africa.

Why I am A SALEM Rotarian

Kristen Armstrong first joined Rotary at age 22 in the Tri-town Club and was one of two women in the Club at that time. She became a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) counselor before moving to the Danvers Club. There she served as treasurer and got a better understanding of how Rotary operates. When her position moved to Salem, she was thrilled to join the Salem Club and give back the community where she was born, lives, works, and loves. She is happy to share this experience with her children and involve them in Rotary service when possible. Kristen has selected Ryan Guilmartin to share next week.

RotarIAN NEWS...

  • Joanne Scott shared how Claire Kallelis is also an amazing storyteller, and she enjoyed spending time with her at the holiday party in 2019.
  • Claire Kallelis reported that the LifeBridge dinner was a success. Meatloaf and frosted brownies by Jane Stirgwolt were a hit, along with everything else.
  • Rich Eisner was happy to see the speaker and was proud to have met Tony at the Peabody toastmasters.
  • Joe Amico has been attending PETs and was informed that our Club would be visited by DG Terry Curran on July 6, his first meeting as president.
  • Bruce Whear shared his enthusiasm about storytelling and how he used to give a talk to kids about electricity and would often get a standing ovation.
  • Tony Toledo told an electricity-related story about relieving himself in a field without realizing there was an electric fence present. Zap. 
  • Rinus Oosthoek reads Lord of the Rings every year, but alternates between the English and Dutch versions. He also planted some lettuce seeds in preparation for spring. 

Club Announcements

The Beverly Rotary Club turns 100 this year and asked surrounding clubs to submit well wishes for a birthday video. With a few practice runs, we recorded a “Happy Birthday Beverly” message. Adria was able to combine this message with the Club’s recording of the happy birthday song from her birthday for a cute and heartfelt congratulation that will remind the Beverly Club why they are the singers of our region. If you’d like to see this video, please email Adria and she can send it your way!
Lifebridge Dinner
May 2021
The next dinner for Lifebridge is scheduled for May. Again, a recipe will be provide to volunteers so the meal will be consistent, and volunteers will make a portion of the dinner in their home kitchens. Please contact Kristen Armstrong or Claire Kallelis if you would like to volunteer.
Calling All Spoke Note Takers
Jason Consalvo is looking for members to assist with notes for the Spoke. Adria will still compile the bulletin each week but could use some help with the notetaking during the meeting. Taking notes for the Spoke is a great way for new Rotarians to get to know our members! Please email Jason if you are able to help. Kristen Armstrong was the wonderful volunteer this week!
Salem Rotary Scholarship Applications Are Posted!
The 2021 scholarship applications are now available on our website. The Scholarship Committee is already working to promote this opportunity to seniors. Please help get the word out in any way you can and direct interested applicants to the “download files” section of our homepage on the bottom right for the applications. Applicants must be residents of Salem, Massachusetts and may not be the child, grandchild, niece, nephew, great niece or great nephew (this includes adoptive or step relationship) of any current member of Salem Rotary, or any person that has been a member of Salem Rotary within the past five years. These scholarships are available to grade 12 high school and trade school students pursuing college or a vocational trade. Applications will be accepted from February 24 through April 10, 2021.
Upcoming Speakers
Mar 23, 2021
Authors & World travelers
Mar 30, 2021
President & CEO, Essex County Community Foundation
Apr 06, 2021
Founder, Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore
View entire list
Member Birthdays
John Fisher
March 1
William Kielbasa
March 6
Robert Anthony
March 17
Board of Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Public Image Chair
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Club Information
Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Square
Salem, MA 01970
United States of America
We are currently meeting via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to returning to the Hawthorne Hotel soon! In the meantime, please email for our Zoom link.
District Site
Venue Map
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7