The Johnny LoBello Friendship Fund held its annual Poker Run and Family Fun Day on Sunday June 7th. The fund honored 3 guests of honor that day.
The first child honored was an 11year old girl named Kendall, she has a type of bone cancer. She loves the beach, and she has three sisters. Johnny's fund presented Kendall with a $500 VISA gift card, each of her sisters a $100 VISA gift card, each with a tote bag full of fun beach items, a beach pass for the season and a $100 gas card for their mom to help with driving them to the beach.
The second child honored was Michael, he is a 4 year old boy who is in remission from Leukemia. Michael loves to swim in his pool, however last year he was unable to due to the fact that he had a chemo port in his chest. This year his port was removed but his pool was in need of repairs, Johnny's fund paid for the pool repairs and for the opening of the pool for the season. (This is a built-in pool) We were told that Michael loved anything with wheels so we purchased him a KIA sports vehicle from Toys R Us also. He had fun riding it around the fundraiser once he got the hang of it.
The third child honored was Nathan, he a 14 year old young man with a cancer that began in his eye. The only thing he was hoping for was a replacement for his cell phone which he dropped and didn't have insurance on. Johnny's fund along with T-Mobile teamed up and presented Nathan with the newest Apple phone out. We also purchased insurance on this phone. Michael has an older brother and a younger sister. His family is in the process of adopting another little girl. Johnny's fund purchased a $150 dinner certificate to Dave & Busters and a "power card" for each of the family members so that they could all enjoy a fun night out.
The Johnny LoBello Friendship Fund is able to do these wonderful things for these children and their families because of sponsors like UCT Providence Council 67. Thanks to our sponsors, we can put smiles on the faces of children and their family members who have, or have had, many challenges in their young lives.
Please check out the pictures on the "Photo Gallery" page.
Manchester Council 195 will be holding its annual summer BBQ on Saturday, July 18th at the home of David and Debbie Rouleau. The BBQ will begin at 12 noon and everyone attending will bring their own entree that will be expertly prepared by our grill masters. Attendees are also asked to bring something to share; garden salad, pasta salad, chips, desserts, appetizers.
Manchester Council will also be accepting donations of gently used or new mens sneakers and jeans for donation to Liberty House. Manchester has previously donated to Liberty House (see the article on this page) and they have a desperate need for these items. We would like everyone to join in the effort to help.
For more information contact Jim Walsh
Outgoing Grand Counselor Yolande sporting her best cowgirl outfit. Can you say HAPPY!
The 2015 UCT Convention is just around the corner! Though it might not seem like it, the 2015 UCT Convention is just a few weeks away!
This year’s convention will be held June 28-July 1 at the Hyatt Regency Wichita in Wichita, Kansas.
Room rates are as follows and are applicable three days prior and three days following the convention, based on availability:
Reservations must be made by no later than June 2, 2015 - call 316.293.1234.
Be sure to tell them you’re with UCT. We hope to see you there!
The service for the 2015 Supreme Convention has been announced.
Rainbows United enhances the lives of children with special needs and their families by bringing together community resources and providing customized services. Everything under the rainbow.
click here for more information
Rainbows provides many vital services for children with special needs, birth through age 21, and their families. They are on the leading edge of implementing the latest, most effective therapies for children with developmental delays. They are the regional leader in early childhood development, including on-site educational child care and pre kindergarten classes. They are the experts who are called to visit the hospital hours after a baby is born who will face developmental challenges. They are home grown and nationally recognized; a grateful recipient and responsible steward of their contributions and resources. They willingly serve everyone -- the family with the ability to pay for services, and their neighbors with few options and resources.
For more information go to http://www.rainbowsunited.org/
If you or your council would like to donate but cannot get items to Wichita, KS please bring them to the Grand Convention and we will get them to the convention for you!
Grand Counselor Yolande Cotnoir-Walsh was spotted volunteering at New Horizons, a homeless shelter in Manchester, NH this past Sunday. She and husband PSCJim Walsh volunteer regularly to feed the homeless in Manchester, a very rewarding experience.
Please send pictures of your members volunteering to Jim Walsh for publication on this page. We need to recognize our members.
On Saturday, November 15th, the UCT members of Providence Council 67 along with Local President Charlie Cavallaro, Regional President Yolande Cotnoir-Walsh and International President David Burt traveled to the Dennis M. Lynch Ice Arena in Pawtucket, RI for a very special event.
Other members of UCT present were Ed Pelletier, Carmino Russo, Jeff and Kathy Masse, Jim Walsh and Phyllis Burt.
The arena is home to the Pawtucket Junior Bears. This very special team is a member team of American Special Hockey. Created in 2000 for players with developmental disabilities, the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) gives people of all ages and abilities a chance to learn and grow by playing hockey.
On this day, the group had assembled to dedicate a “Kaye Trainer” to the team. At the United Commercial Travelers of America (UCT) annual convention in Columbus, OH, the members of Providence Council 67 donated $2,500 to purchase a Kaye Trainer which was delivered to the team.
The Kaye Trainer is a physical therapy device used in rehabilitation centers worldwide. Originally designed for recovery from traumatic leg/hip injuries or illnesses, two special hockey programs have now discovered an alternative use for the device. According to Dave Chase of the Valencia SNAP Flyers in California, "The device is THE safest way to teach someone how to skate!"
Gerry Letourneau, head coach of the Pawtucket Junior Bears, was on hand to accept the Kaye Trainer and to talk with the UCT members as well as to thank them for their generous donation.
UCT members support ASHA through such volunteer efforts as sponsoring ice time for games and practices, hosting post-practice lunches, helping sponsor tournaments and camps, and holding fundraisers to help teams with travel costs and purchasing necessary equipment.
Over the last 3 years UCT has provided over $50,000 to be a major sponsor of ASHA and another $30,000 has been donated by our members for the purchase of the Kaye Trainers.
Since the campaign was launched in July, six ASHA special hockey teams have received devices from UCT, two teams are in the process of arranging delivery of the Kaye Trainer, two more teams have been offered devices, and one team that already has a trainer has opted for a new harness instead of another device.
The members of Providence Council 67 "Joined Hands" with a group of young people to clean The Johnny Lobello Tot Park at the "Homestead Gardens Park". They cleaned, weeded, mulched and planted in an effort to spruce upo the tot park for summer use. Good Job Providence! See the photos on the Photo Gallery page.
Pictrued above are the winners of the Grand Council Safety Poster Contest. From the left is Ms. Kurtz, 5th grade classroom teacher at Highland Goffes-Falls School, the 4 winners, and GPC Yolande Cotnoir-Walsh. Yolande presented them with their prizes and a UCT shirt.
Above are the winners of the Manchester Council Safety Poster Contest. GPC Yolande presented them with their prizes and UCT shirts.
The 120th Grand Convention was held this past weekend, May 29th and 30th at the DoubleTree Hotel in Leominster, MA. The Chris Antonelli New England Scholarship program and the Executive Committee met on Friday morning, May 29th to kick off the weekend.
Regional President Yolande Cotnoir-Walsh opened the convention at 2pm on Friday by welcoming everyone and delivering a very emotional speech thanking all the members for the opportunity to have served this past year and for all of the support she received from the members. She told everyone how much she was "out of her element" which made running the meeting a great personal challenge for her. She certainly met the challenge and far exceeded her expectations!
Manchester Council 195 was the host council this year and really delivered a "first class" convention program, offering an unbelievable hospitality room as well as prize giveaways at each of the lunches and dinners.
Friday night's festivities were preceeded by our Necrology Service where we honor our deceased Past Counselors and Past Grand Counselors. PGC's Andre B. Soucy and Domenic Grande were eulogized. The eulogy for PGC Andy Soucy delivered by PGC Henry Cheetham follows his obituary inder the "Obibituaries" tab
The "Cowboy Up" event on Friday night was well attended and really enjoyed by those that came dressed in their favorite western wear. The members were very busy photographing their friends and having their pictures taken by others. Photos will be appearing all week long so refer often to the "Photo Album" page often.
The entertainment at "Cowboy Up" featured a local group of Square Dancers led by Yolande's sister Louise and her husband Dick. The caller was from the Leominster area. Members had the opportunity to dance with them and learn the basics of square dancing. While they were learning the others were being treated to some real comedy. There were lots of laughs and plenty of exercise!
On Saturday Jeff Masse, also from Manchester Council 195, was installed as Regional President by PSC Jim Walsh, assisted by PGC David Rouleau. Jeff will preside over the 121st annual convention in June of 2016 also at the DoubleTree Hotel in Leominster. Following the installation, Jeff appointed his committees for the year and offered 3 challenges to the membership. They can be found in the accompanying article in the third column here.
Jeff also provided entertainment for the members after the banquet for the newly elected officers. He went about the room asking historical questions about UCT awarding prizes for correct answers and "balloon hats" for wrong answers. It was very entertaining.
The convention next year has been posted on the "Upcoming Events" page on the website.
The members of Manchester Council 195 recently donated graphics and labor to apply to a truck for Habitat for Humanity. The truck was donated by Liberty International of Manchester, NH. PSC Jim Walsh is a contractor for them and he and the council agreed to do the work to benefit a great organization that does so much in the communities of New Hampshire. Our UCT logo and New England website is placed on the truck with the other sponsors.
Pictured with the truck are Grand Counselor Yolande Cotnoir-Walsh, Grand Junior Counselor Jeff Masse, Grand Executive Committee member Kathy Masse, PGC David Rouleau, PGC Debbie Rouleau, Conductor Denny Walsh, Denise Walsh and PSC Jim Walsh.
The Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a retail store located in Nashua, NH. They sell donated new and reusable kitchen cabinets, appliances, furniture, doors, windows and building materials to the public at less than retail costs. These materials are donated by home owners, contractors, manufacturers, retail stores and distributors and are either overstocked or discontinued.
Store proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity’s mission of providing safe, decent, affordable and energy efficient housing to hardworking, low income families. The store is staffed by volunteers.
Follow the link: http://www.nashuahabitat.org/restore for more information about this unique store.
The members of Manchester Council 195 recently collected baby items at their February meeting and donated them along with a check for $100 to Birthright International in Manchester, NH.
Last year Birthright in Manchester served 430 young families and provided over 100 "Layettes" or bags stuffed with new baby items.
Birthright began in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1968, with a one-room office and only $300 in the bank, when Louise Summerhill, a busy housewife and mother of seven children, felt something should be done to help women facing unplanned pregnancies.
Events in her own life helped her understand the feelings pregnant girls might experience, including feelings of loneliness, fear of criticism, tension with parents, and even the shock of finding oneself unexpectedly pregnant.
Birthright takes a non-moralistic, non-judgmental approach toward helping women through their pregnancy dilemmas. Over forty-five years later, Birthright International remains true to Louise's original vision of personal, one-on-one contact in helping relationships. Louise's Birthright means "approachability and informality" for clients and volunteers, instead of bureaucracy and meetings in highly structured, business-like environments.
Birthright is a tax-exempt, charitable organization. They rely on and are gratefully fortified by financial and moral support of their donors and volunteers. Birthright is independent, interdenominational, and not affiliated with any religious or political group or public agency. Birthright is located in Canada, the United States and Africa. To find a location in your state or province go to www.birthright.org
If you remember from my speeches at the convention I made three challenges. Here they are as a reminder that we all have work to do if we want this to be a successful year.
Challenge #1: INVITE ME!
For all councils, I have issued a challenge that your council personally invites me (and possibly others as well) to one of your community outreach activities. Being so young in UCT, my mind is narrow and needs to be broadened and this can only occur with your cooperation. I need you in order to be a more effective councilor and am so looking forward to spending an afternoon/night with your council making a difference in your community!
Haven't done much lately? Well, contact each other, meet and research online or in your local newspapers. I am sure you can find some way to make a difference.
Challenge #2: GRAND FUNDAISING EVENT AT EACH VISITATION
First of all to the Grand Fundraising committee of Robin, Lorraine and Joyce, thanks once again for saying "Yes" to the Grand Fundraising committee. I am so hoping that the local councils will take my second challenge of a Grand fundraising event seriously. You may want to consider emailing each council a few weeks early to let them know you are available to help (or possibly put on) a Grand fundraising event. As you could tell from the Grand Council Dinner Saturday night, the UCT gang still loves creative laughter and I think that would be a good place to continue. (It was the first time I saw all the members stay until the end.)
Here is a website that has some ideas and you may want to get a couple planned ahead of time in case you are called upon to do the majority of the work - though you never will have to since many of us will be more than happy to help you organize etc.
Keep in mind your ideas are not limited to this web-page.
Refer to the "Councils" tab for e-mail addresses for council information. Visitations & other council events are under the "Upcoming Events" tab
Western Mass - Doesn't have a scheduled meeting but may want to hold a fundraising event all the same?
Challenge #3: WEBSITE POINT OF CONTACT
Who in your council is computer savvy? Please appoint this person to be responsible for contacting Jim Walsh with news, events, and other information about your council. Remember a tool is only good if it is used so let's make sure to bang this hammer hard. Jim is not busy enough and needs to put more things to put on the website. I, for one, was impressed with the number of hits www.uctne.org is getting. A first impression is so important so let's show our website visitors the excitement of being a UCT member.
Never hesitate to contact, call, or text me. I am here for the year, after that you have to put up with Angela Goff a.k.a. Angela Anka. (Personally I can't wait!)
GC Jeff Masse
The members of Manchester Council 195 recently made a donation of food and clothing to Liberty House in Manchester, NH. The members are committed to helping different charities in the city.
For more than a decade, Liberty House in Manchester, NH has been providing a safe, supportive, substance-free housing community for American veterans transitioning out of homelessness. Since opening their doors in 2004, their dedicated team of staff and volunteers has helped more than 200 homeless veterans rejoin their communities and regain fulfilling, independent lives.
Each and every veteran that walks through their doors is treated with the utmost respect, regardless of their combat status or length of service, and provided with a unique transition plan tailored to their needs. With the guidance and support of brother and sister veterans and a commitment to giving back through food pantry and clothing programs, Liberty House is more than just a community; it’s a family.
Their transitional facility offers ten resident beds and a variety of services ranging from employment and housing assistance to case management and agency referrals.
In 1943 amid WWII, a German U-boat torpedo struck the USAT Dorchester and more than 600 servicemen were lost. Private Harold Paczosa of Manchester was among the servicemen who perished in the sinking of the transport ship. In honor of his memory, his sister Annette left the family home to the VFW, asking only that the house be used as a home for military veterans and that a memorial stone honoring her brother be maintained at the premises. With the support of the Manchester VFW, Don Duhamel – a retired Air Force sergeant disturbed by the vision of veterans homeless in his community – raised funds, garnered support, and willed Liberty House into existence.
Since then, the veterans at Liberty House have worked together to rebuild confidence, enhance their skills, and lead fulfilling, substance-free lives. Liberty House has provided support and services to more than 200 homeless veterans thanks to the generosity of our donors and the Paczosa family.
While providing much needed items to worthy organizations and getting our name known in the community, our members are learning valuable things about the plight of many less fortunate than we. Members making the donation today were Conductor Denny Walsh, Denise Walsh, GJC Jeff Masse, GEC Kathy Masse, GC Yolande Cotnoir-Walsh & PSC Jim Walsh. Bill Zarakota, Director of Community Development for Liberty House is also pictured. Absent from the pictures are PGC David Rouleau and PGC Debbie Rouleau.
More pictures are available under the "Photo Gallery" tab.
Narragansett Council 699 hosted a Visitation in honor of Grand Counselor Yolande Cotnoir-Walsh and her suite of officers on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at Twelve Acres of Smithfield Smithfield, RI.
The evening began with a social hour at 6:30pm where members enjoyed "Fraternalism and Friendship Forever" with Grand Counselor Yolande and all of the members of Narragansett Council. Dinner was served at 7pm. The members enjoyed Chicken Escarole Soup, a buffet featuring Broiled Scrod, Chicken Parmesan, Sliced Beef, Oven Roasted Potato, Penne with Sauce, Vegetable Medley, Dessert.
Following the dinner the members heard from Grand Counselor Yolande who spoke from her heart about what UCT has meant to her over the years and how councils can be successful in recruiting members if they continue to volunteer in their communities and document that on social media and our website.
The members of Narragansett Council presented Grand Chaplain Debbie Rouleau, PGC with a beautiful hanging flower basket. They also presented Grand Counselor Yolande with a "money shirt" that fit perfectly! It was made by PGC Lorraine LaPlante.
PSC Jim Walsh spoke to the members and guests about the upcoming convention and PGC's Art and Mary Newcombe passed out convention registration packets.
Oblivious the Clown (aka PGC David Rouleau) and PSC Jim Walsh hamming it up prior to the St. Patrick's Parade in Manchester, NH. Jim is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), parade sponsors, and David is a member of the Shrine Clown unit in Concord, NH. They met up on parade day. Absent is GC Yolande Cotnoir-Walsh who was helping the AOH in the marching units assembly area and PGC Debbie Rouleau who took the picture. We had lots of fun!
There is a large photo on the "Photo Gallery"page.
UCT would like to have more photos to use in our publications and also give the councils a chance to win some money. Please download the attached flier to share with your council! Click below.
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