Our Speaker, Mari Ryan, addresses the club on St. Patrick's Day
  • Mari Ryan, speaker
  • Brian, next year’s Foundation Chair, spoke. Money contributed this year is available to spend 3 years from now on our international and local service projects.
  • Laura received a Paul Harris plus 3 award, outstanding for having been a member of Rotary only 4 years.
  • The Westboro Rotary Repair Café is coming up this Saturday; a sign-up sheet was passed around.
  • On March 24, we have a joint meeting with Acton-Boxborough; the cost is $12.
  • On March 31, we will have a club assembly, an opportunity for members to discuss club business.
  • April 15 is our fourth annual Reality Fair at Nashoba Regional HS.
  • Wings & Wheels: John Erb from the Maynard club is in charge this year; Laura is asking for members to help with the planning.
  • Brewfest: Karin has sent out an email looking for names of potential sponsors. We have 25 restaurants so far. The ticket price will not increase, but we hope to increase the number of people attending.
  •  Stow Lions Club breakfast with the Easter Bunny: 6-7 members showed up to help, an indication of the spirit of our club.
  • Volunteers are needed for the various committees during Chris’ year as President of the club. Instead of having a single chairman responsible for the function, more members should be involved.
  • April 1: Dueling Pianos for Habitat for Humanity, at Bull Run Restaurant in Ayer. Our club has reserved a table
  • District Social Media Seminar: Free, at DoubleTree Hotel, Leominster on March 31. Laura is the Chair.
  • The Just 'Cause Walk is open to up to 40 3-day walkers and up to 40 people doing one or more sections of the walk, to benefit The Healing Garden. Registration is open and the deadline to register is through April 1, 2015.
Happy/sad fines:
  • Ron: is a great fan of St. Patrick’s Day even though not Irish.
  • Carol: will be in Evanston, IL for RI business next week.
  • Bob: had a great vacation in Honolulu with his daughter and granddaughter.
  • Alina: is grateful for little things—hot water on demand, lights by flicking the switch.
  • Nanci: is happy to be here.
  • Brian: is happy to represent the Burkes from Ireland; also, his dog is getting the cast removed from his leg.
  • Dean: March madness is around the corner.
  • Jim: is also grateful for the little things, for water and electricity, after having been to Guatemala where they’re not so available.
  • Rich: His nephew received a promotion to lieutenant colonel in the army, and over the weekend had a wonderful family reunion in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
  • Chris: is looking forward to a fun year as club president.
Our speaker was Mari Ryan the CEO and Founder of AdvancingWellness, which was established in 2006 with the goal of positively impacting the lives of individuals and the companies in which they work. Its mission is to help each individual achieve their optimal health by increasing awareness, teaching behavior change skills, and creating supportive, healthy cultures in the workplace. 
Mari began by saying, she was traveling in Cuba and as she was wandering around Havana, she saw a sign, which turned out to be for the Rotary Club of Havana.
Next, she had us engage in an activity. First we were to copy on a sheet she gave us a line of text: “Multitasking is a lie.” Then we were to write in words the numbers 1-27. We were timed for this; the average was one minute. Then we were to do the same, interspersing the numbers after each letter: “M one u two l three” and so on. The time it took was far longer. The lesson: multi-tasking is not efficient.
In 2012 the Massachusetts legislature established a fund where companies can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to establish an employee wellness program. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all program; businesses of all types are invited to set up a wellness program, profit or nonprofit. The preference is for small companies of less than 200 employees. With each company outlining its own particular needs: food, ergonomics, stress reduction, etc.
In addition to funding, they provide training and networking with similar organizations; technical assistance (building capacity and providing support from people with experience in the field), and community partnerships (linking with community resources).  Benefits to the company are increased productivity; better morale, increased job satisfaction, improved employee retention; and lessened absenteeism and fewer sick days. To the employee, it reduces chronic disease and results in decreased rates of injury and accidents.
The web site, for more information or for an application, is: www.mawow.org.