2020-2021 Rotary year was, for sure, like no other. An organism smaller than the head of a needle had flipped our world upside down. We were no longer meeting in person and were all getting used to something called “Zoom.” As Rotarians were asking the questions you would expect Rotarians to ask; How can we help? Little did we know, at that time, how much we could help:


  • We latched on a methodology to use everyday materials to make face shields for first responders and we made over 1500 of them
  • Several members (and a few non-members) decided to make face masks and donate the proceeds to the Rotary Foundation of Bedford. These fantastic ladies made over 1200 of them.
  • We teamed up with someone who had a supply of surgical gowns and would up giving 250 of them to local first responders
  • We found a source with hospital masks to give away and we wound up giving thousands of them to the local schools and first responders
  • With first responders putting sticking their necks out and local restaurants starving for business we dug into our own foundation funds and purchased literally thousands of dollars in gift certificates from local restaurants and gave them out to hospitals, fire departments, and police departments
  • We still conducted our service project with the Bedford Police Department and conducted our annual “Bike Helmet” giveaway
  • The 911 Memorial at Springs Brook Park was overrun so we conducted two service days to clean it up
  • One of our members decided to take a long walk and raise money for our foundation. He did most of the work and we all contributed to making his efforts successful.
  • Never let it be said Rotarians can’t have fun in a crisis. So we decided to have a town wide scavenger hunt. So we all took a break and had a ball finding and doing things in teams.
  • The Job Lane House needed some cleanup so we truged on over and took care of it
  • We couldn’t do our Breakfast with Santa so we decided to construct a map showing the location of holiday lights all over town. It turned out to be a huge success
  • Can you believe there are kids who still don’t have beds? Neither could we so we teamed up with “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” grabbed our face masks, practiced social distancing, and made 20+ new beds for kids who didn’t have one.

Every one of these were hands-on projects but the Trustees of our Bedford Foundation were also very active:

  • We helped to fund the Guatemala Literacy Project
  • Funded a project in Kenya to build a water catchment basin
  • Funded a local Boy Scout Eagle Project
  • Helped fund the Bedford Youth and Family Services
  • Helped the Sudanese Services
  • Bought another iPad for Bedford TV
  • Helped to fund the Neighborhood Brigade
  • Funded the stocking of Fawn Lake with trout
  • Continued to fund our scholarship program

It was a busy year, it was a very different year, and it was a very successful year. SzeWen led the way from the start to the finish. She was always there leading by example with getting the information out, organizing the work, and making the many deliveries. All 36 of us owe her a lot! For sure She made our Rotary year “all it could be.”