CT Rotarians Million Mask Challenge Tour Comes to New London

New London Mayor Michael Passero and other dignitaries will be recognizing the incredible efforts of Rotary Clubs across Connecticut. Connecticut’s 92 Rotary Clubs and their 4,000 members have raised and spent more than $500,000 to help our communities during the Covid-19 crisis. This massive effort to provide PPE, food, and financial support is an unprecedented effort for Rotary, and it is far from over. Rotarians will continue to work hard, in their cities and towns, to help those who need it as we battle through this pandemic, and beyond.

“We are navigating unprecedented times through this pandemic,” states Ron Webb, Rotary’s current District Governor overseeing 57 Rotary Clubs in southern Connecticut from Greenwich to the Stonington’s. “And, as colder days arrive with the Flu season, Rotarians are in action all across the State making sure that organizations and businesses in need can acquire access to the most important safety measure available to stave off the virus. This is what Rotarians do. We roll up our sleeves and do extraordinary work that saves lives. I couldn’t be prouder of the men and women of our District selflessly giving of themselves and making a difference for those in harm’s way.”

A truck filled with 800,000 masks will make stops in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont with more than 800,000 masks to be provided for community organizations, first responders and essential workers in Southeastern Connecticut. (An additional 200,000 masks were distributed across Connecticut in the spring, making the total one million.) All were donated by Ted Rossi, an East Hampton, Connecticut Rotarian, and the Rossi Family Foundation.

“I couldn’t be happier to see my fellow Rotarians throughout New England come together and embrace this important project for those in need,” said Mr. Rossi. “The State was not able to deliver to smaller community organizations and nursing homes, so I said this is perfect for Rotary. Why don’t we facilitate the supply of masks that Rotary Clubs can take and distribute in small lots within their communities. What started out as a small project snowballed into something really big. We sourced 1 million masks to distribute to every Rotary District in New England and named it the Million Mask Challenge.”

Rotary’s work has had a life saving impact on the state, according to those who have received aid.

PPE (Masks/Gowns/Shields) and more than $100,000 in food and financial aid to:

  • 54 Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
  • 40 First Responder Organizations (police, fire, EMS)
  • 30 Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens, Food Providers
  • 9 Visiting Nurse Associations
  • 24 Child Care, BSA, Libraries, Social Services, Family Services
  • 4 Hospital systems: Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children’s, UCONN Health Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital

Just some of the organizations helped by Connecticut Rotary Clubs: Waterford Senior Services, VNA of Southeastern CT, Mystic Health Care, Waterford Youth & Family Services, Wood River Health Center, Masonic Care Mystic, Stonington First Responders, Fairview, Groton Senior Center, Groton Human Services, Groton Public Schools, Bill Memorial Library, Riverfront Children’s Center, North Stonington Elementary School, New London Community Meal Center, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Stone Ridge Retirement Community, Mystic Women’s Club Thrift Shop, East Lyme Police Fire and EMS, Bride Brook, Bayview, The Otis Library, Montessori Discovery School, City of Norwich, Norwich Community Development Corp), St Vincent de Paul Place Food Pantry, Norwich Recreation Department