Kelly Buttiglieri (Program Coordinator, Brian Injury Association of Massachusetts ( spoke about the common causes of traumatic brain injuries and the magnitude of this condition.  Two Ambassador Speakers, Amy Linn and Paul Giunta, Jr. told us about their experiences with brain injuries.  


Kelly began by stating the mission of the Brain Injury Association.  “Our mission is advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment and education and to improve the quality of life for all individuals impacted by brain injury. Through advocacy, we bring help, hope and healing to millions of individuals living with brain injury, their families and the professionals who serve them.”  Next, she gave us statistics describing how widespread traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are.  “Every 18.5 seconds someone suffers a brain injury.”  The number of people diagnosed with TBI is 8 times higher than the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer.  She called TBIs “the silent epidemic.”  The leading causes of TBIs are: falls, motor vehicle related, violence, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, alcohol, drug use, and sports injuries.

Amy Linn spoke about the TBIs that her daughter, Kelley, suffered playing volleyball in the 8th and 9th grades.  Both injuries happened after getting hit in the head by the volleyball.  She was diagnosed with a concussion and had a headache for a week after the first injury.  After taking two weeks off from volleyball, she returned to the team.  Unfortunately, she suffered a whiplash shortly after her return and had worse headaches.  Kelley’s second injury also caused a concussion.  She went to Children’s Hospital and finally received medication for the headaches.  However, light and noise were painful for her.  She could not attend school for some time.  By the end of her freshman year, she could only go to some classes.  Now Kelly has a tutor who comes to the house and she goes to many doctors.  She is also in counseling because of the life changes she has had to make.  Kelley still has headaches, blurry vision, and difficulty remembering.  There have also been emotional effects such as irritability, sadness, and loneliness.  She can’t hang out with friends, watch TV or work on the computer.  Now she stays in a dark, quiet room.  The pain always comes back.  Unfortunately, Kelley will probably have to repeat her sophomore year at Nashoba Regional High School. Amy told us that the goals of her talk are for people to: (1) be more compassionate to people who have suffered a concussion, (2) be able to notice the signs of a concussion, and (3) wear helmets properly.

Paul Giunta, Jr. suffered a concussion the day his daughter was born on March 6, 2006.  He was in a car accident after staying up late for the birth of his daughter.  He doesn’t remember the details of his accident but he was med flighted to Mass. General Hospital where he had an 8 hour operation.  He was in a coma and went to Spaulding Rehabilitation Center.  From 2006 through 2007 he was hospitalized or in Spaulding.  In 2007 he moved to his parents’ house in Marlborough because his home in Maynard was not handicapped accessible.  His wife applied for an extreme house makeover, which took place in March 2008.  Now he is continuing his recovery with hopes of returning to work eventually.  He told us that he is not in pain every day.  He works out for 2 to 3 hours each day because he wants to regain what he could do before.  A goal of his is to finish a marathon before 2020.  Paul told us that every minute of every day counts and he advised us to live for today, live in the moment.

During the question and answer period, Kelly advised us that parents should make sure that their children wear proper helmets when playing sports.  However, there is no way to eliminate all risks.  Amy added that parents should make sure that the coaches are trained so they know how to identify a concussion.  Catherine Hammill reported that high school coaches are much more educated now.  When her son suffered a concussion playing high school sports, he had to see a doctor before he could play again.  Kelly agreed and said that there are new regulations that high school coaches and nurses must comply with.

Guests: Kelly Buttliglieri (speaker), Paul Giunta, Jr. (speaker), Deb Horton, Ken Horton, and Amy Linn (speaker)

Happy/Sad Fines: 

Happy Fines

  • Barbara got to the meeting on time.
  • Allison paid off her car.
  • Carol will be speaking at a District meeting.
  • Richard S is leaving next Wednesday to vacation in the Dominican Republic and meet with people working on the Mobile Dental Clinic project.
  • Richard S also gave medical advice to her daughter, who is a physician, for stomach flu.
  • Chris recently had hand surgery.
  • Chris also went to the Allentown, PA Rotary Club meeting.  There were approximately 200 people at the meeting!
  • Catherine was happy that the real estate market is back.
  • Laura attended the Friends of Minuteman Airfield meeting last Thursday evening.
  • Paul was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Natascha was happy that her brothers recently got jobs.
  • Kelly was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Ken was happy.
  • Bob was happy that the generator started this morning when Bolton lost electricity.
  • Karin was happy and donated $5 for Chris attending another Rotary Club’s meeting.

Sad Fines

  • Ron was sad that his father in-law is very ill.

Non Club Announcements:

  • Bolton Lions’ Club is having an “I Love Valentines” gala to benefit the Perkins School for the Blind on February 9.  Tickets are $125/person or a table of 8 for $875.  For more information go to the Bolton Lions’ Club’s website:
  • Volunteer Advocate Training for the Domestic Violence Services Network (DVSN) begins February 25.  Contact DVSN at (978) 318-3421 to sign up.

Club Announcements:

  • Reminder:  If you attend another Rotary Club’s meeting, District event or a Club Committee meeting, it counts as a make-up meeting.  Remember to email Allison about make-ups.  Karin distributed a list of nearby Rotary Meetings for us to consider attending, which will be posted on our Clubrunner site.

  • The Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough will have its second annual human dog sledding event at Nara Park on February 2 at noon.  We need two more people to enter this event.

  • Super Bowl Baskets for East Fitchburg Rotary Club’s Fundraiser: Since the East Fitchburg Club is donating $1,000 toward our Mobile Dental Clinic project, we are giving them two baskets to raffle off at their Super Bowl fundraiser.

  • Speaker schedule changes – Richard S’s presentation about our Mobile Dental Clinic project will move from February 14 to April 4.  Karin encouraged us to bring a guest to our February 14 meeting.

  • We have received our membership packet to the RYLA program.  We need to tell District by February 15 how many students we are sending to RYLA and pay for them.  We expect to send 2 or 3 students.

  • Clubrunner – Karin told us that the left hand side of the home page ( displays our speaker schedule.

  • Laura gave us a report about the January 29 Board meeting:

o    We completed two baskets and obtained a gift certificate to the Wayside Inn for the East Fitchburg Rotary Club to raffle off at their Super Bowl event this weekend.

o    The Mobile Dental Clinic project is called the We Are One project and we need to raise funds from area clubs and our own club needs to raise approximately $4,000.  Some fundraising ideas we are considering are an electronics recycling event in Lancaster and the Acton-Boxboro Rotary Club’s wine tasting event.  We are also finding out if we can have a table at the PETS (Presidents Elect Training) to promote our project.  Richard S and Natascha have been going to other clubs to raise funds.  We have invited other clubs to our April 4 meeting which will focus on our project so that they might donate to our project.

o    RYLA applications are on the website and Clubrunner.  Students living in Stow, Bolton, and Lancaster are eligible to apply no matter where they go to school.

o    Reality Fair – The Reality Fair is a game of life for high school sophomores.  The first planning session for this event is on February 4 at 5:30 at Papa Ginos in Stow.  The Reality Fair will take place on March 15 at the Nashoba Regional High School.

o    Service project – Jim and Chuck are looking at a project for seniors in all three of our towns.

o    Three new officer positions were added to the board:

§  President Elect Nominee – Richard S

§  Executive Secretary – Ron

§  Sergeant at Arms for Evening Meetings – Dana

o    Infrastructure investment – Ron signed our Club up for Quick Books online. 

o    Website – Soon our website URL ( will be redirected to our Clubrunner website.

o    Social Media – Laura and Carol attended a Rotary conference about Social Media which they found useful.  Laura made an entity Facebook page that we can use for external activities.  We will keep our group Facebook page for internal activities.

o    Cruise Nights – The Maynard and Acton-Boxborough Rotary Clubs will participate on this project.  Our club is responsible for running these nights at the Minuteman Airfield: June 13, July 11, August 1, and August 22.  Carol is working on getting sponsorships for these events.

  • RichardS reported that Mary created the first newsletter for the We Are One project.  We have almost all of the donations we need.  Approximately $150,000 of equipment and supplies have been donated so far.
Future Meetings

First and third Thursdays:

7:15 AM to 8:30 AM

Houghton Building (across from the school)

697 Main Street, Bolton, MA 01740

(Route 117 West from I495, Exit 27)

Second and fourth Thursdays:

Nancy’s Airfield Café

302 Boxboro Road

Stow, MA 01775

5:45 PM to 7:00 PM

About the Rotary of Nashoba Valley:

The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley serves the communities of Bolton, Lancaster, and Stow, Massachusetts. Our members are business, community, and professional leaders who meet weekly to plan local and international service projects; host interesting speakers on local, national, and international issues; and enjoy fellowship. The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley was chartered by Rotary International on February 24, 2012, the first new Rotary club chartered in District 7910 in over a decade!

For more club information, contact Club President, Karin Gaffney, at 978-387-5369 or

Please contact Barbara Myles if you no longer want to receive this newsletter.