The Old Guard
The Old Guard is a group of retired and semi-retired men dedicated to education, fellowship and community service. Weekly meetings feature guest speakers from government, education and business. Opportunities for fellowship include informal gathering before the meetings, excursions and athletic events, bowling, golf and luncheons. Committee chairmen work with civic groups to organize opportunities for member contributions, both financial and donation of time, some periodic, some ongoing. Old Guard members work with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Foodshare, Salvation Army, and the West Hartford YMCA. Old Guard members provided leadership in the revitalization and ongoing administration of the West Hartford Seniors Job Bank.
Old Guard members and guests enjoy return of Annual Luncheon
Hartford Golf Club
May 10, 2022
Special Events Chairman Paul Dean and wife Nancy check on attendees at registration desk
President Don Kauke presents gavel to incoming President Russ Jones
Luncehon entertainment provided by cast members of the Playhouse on Park
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Annual Meeting 2022
As seen in recent emails, revision of the original Articles of Incorporation has been proposed. With no questions about the revisions, it was moved and seconded to accept the revisions as presented…a voice vote unanimously approved.
It was then moved and seconded to approve the revised Bylaws of the Old Guard…a voice vote unanimously approved. The changed documents will be filed with the Connecticut Secretary of State.
Tom Goodrum, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, introduced the candidates for office for 2022-2023 year. A motion to accept the slate was moved and seconded and approved by a unanimous voice vote.
Those officers are:
Russ Jones – President
Ed Turbert – Vice President, Program Chairman
George Stephan – Secretary
Stephen Guest – Treasurer
Kevin Slane – Assistant Secretary
Paul Dean – Assistant Treasurer
Rev. John Mitman – Chaplain
Franklin DuBois - Historian
Vice President-Program Chairman Russ Jones introduced Don Kauke , Old Guard President for a review of the year.
President Kauke expressed appreciation of Russ and other Board of Directors who have been busy all year, keeping the Old Guard afloat in this challenging environment and making it the special year that it has been. Russ has made certain that our programs were entertaining and informative…guests from business, education, government, and executives from nonprofit groups that Old Guard has supported.
Secretary George Stephan was presented the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his work on our initial insurance purchase, the revision of the official documents and outstanding, comprehensive notes on weekly presentations.
Treasurer Stephen Guest assumed the responsibilities previously performed by the West Hartford YMCA, billing of members, collection of dues and maintaining the roster of Old Guard members.
And a special thanks also go to Dan Tracy for the annual audit of our accounts.
Past President Ron Van Winkle made dramatic changes in Old Guard programs…converting to online presentations by our guest presenters.
Thanks to Ron’s continuing mastery of Zoom, all of our meetings are now available to members on their computers or iPads. Ron and Ruth are moving to Virginia, and he will continue to be our zoom master!
Ron Robinson provided Membership leadership throughout a very challenging year with the installation of 18 new members. Ron emphasized that the Old Guard (OG) stands for Opportunities (not obligations) to Grow through learning, Gather together in meetings/activities and Give back to our communities.
Paul Dean has provided leadership to Special Events throughout the year. Next week at the Hartford Golf Club we will enjoy a wonderful luncheon, thanks Paul Dean. If Paul is associated with it, any event is special…hockey in Hartford, basketball at the University of Hartford, a museum event or travel to Vermont or the Berkshires. Even during the pandemic Paul labored to find events that members could enjoy together, hats we could wear and pins with our new logo.
Ron Robinson also led Old Guard activities with Habitat for Humanity.
On Veteran’s Day in 2021, a dozen Old Guard members gathered in East Hartford to put siding on a house. A dozen Old Guard members also generously donated approximately $1,500.
In June of 2021, we began supporting another Habitat activity – ReStore - in the morning of the second Wednesday of each month.
The Old Guard has another strong supporter of Habitat in Tom Trumble, active with the Hartford, state, and national organization of Habitat.
Dale Richter has led the Meals on Wheels program of the Old Guard. Over the past 12 months, 35 Old Guard members have delivered over 7,200 meals to people to whom it made a difference. Despite Covid, snow, heavy rain and winds, our supply-chain of volunteers never missed a delivery, or a day of service.
Incoming Vice-President Ed Turbert has carried the relationship with the Salvation Army forward, by organizing and scheduling our traditional Holiday Kettle at the LaSalle Road post office, and recently promoting a virtual kettle for the convenience of Old Guard members. The Old Guard was responsible for $5,449 in those collections. 40 Old Guard members participated in the bell-ringer effort.
Bill Higgins has led our relationship with Foodshare, organizing teams to sort those food donations at their Bloomfield facility. Thirty-five Old Guard volunteers participated in seven sorting events there this year in three-hour sessions. The estimate of food sorted…over 35,000 pounds!!! While the Old Guard will not be meeting over the Summer, sorting will still be taking place.
Lou Aiello has led Old Guard contribution effort for local food pantries, the West Hartford Food Pantry, for Foodshare, Loaves and Fishes and the House of Bread. From September 2021 to today, total contributions have been $7,520. This includes $1,400 to West Hartford Food Pantry, $500 to Loaves and Fishes and $250 to the House of Bread.
Hospitality Chairman Ray Goulet and his many assistants throughout the year register guests and provide name tags for members.
Bernie Weiss and Jim Doran are responsible for organizing our weekly story telling segment, an opportunity for a member to recount an experience or event that they have experienced.
Bernie also provides Presidential leadership to the Seniors Job Bank.
John Kelleher has been providing a link between the Old Guard and the YMCA. The Old Guard still has a special relationship with the Y with support for activities for children, through the proceeds of an Annual Golf Tournament and fund raising in the Spring.
Bill O’Connor has taken up leadership of our volunteer activity at the UConn Health Center. After thousands of hours donated by our members over the years, it was just not the place for us to be. Now that the risks are reduced, Bill is leading a restoration of that program.
Tew Dubois is the Old Guard’s official historian. A supporting role to Tew is provided by Kevin Slane, sending letters of condolence to surviving family members at a member’s passing, and letters of appreciation to guest speakers.
Chuck Hasbrouck provides leadership in golf with Monday morning pickup sessions at Rockledge, league play with the Regents on Thursdays, and the Annual YMCA Tournament, scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at Stanley Golf Course in New Britain.
Bob Morpurgo has led the bowling program this year at the Newington Bowl-a-Rama.
Old Guard Chaplain Reverend John Mitman provides prayers of remembrance for our deceased members and Thanksgiving for our gifts.
President Kauke: “I have been blessed to be able to stand up here each week and host these proceedings. As you can see, there is a great deal that goes on to make the Old Guard the wonderful organization that it is! That is my message today, may we all, and others to come, enjoy the great organization that is the Old Guard. As for the past year, In the words of the Frank Sinatra reflective song …’It was a very good year’”. My thanks to all!