Shrewsbury Rotary continues to spread appreciation and support in response to COVID-19


By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

(l to r) Rotarian Art Dobson, Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Administrator Suzanne Gauthier, Certified Nursing Assistant Elizabeth Annobil, LPN Lyn Vincent, and Rotarian Owen Russell
Photo/Melanie Petrucci

Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Rotary Club members Judy Merriman and Kathy McSweeney recently coordinated local grocery store gift cards to be given to the staff at Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center located at 30 Julio Dr. The Club also donated cards to Shrewsbury High School students and their families in need. 

This was a continuation of the club’s commitment to spreading appreciation to those on the front lines who are caring for and providing support to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In May the Rotary funded a Dunkin Donut gift card appreciation give away to local “Meals on Wheels” drivers. 

“We talked about how great it is that people are recognizing the front line workers and wanted to find the ‘second line workers’ and help them,” McSweeney shared via email. “The families are a little different but I guess we all thought about how much more we are all spending on food and wanted to relieve a little of the stress these families must be feeling.”

On June 12 Arthur Dobson, senior member of the Shrewsbury Rotary Club and Owen Russell, incoming club president, presented 120 gift cards, each in the amount of $25, to each of the staff at the Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. 

“On behalf of the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury we just want to recognize the Shrewsbury Nursing Home for your extraordinary efforts during COVID-19,” Russell said as he presented the gift cards. “We were looking for ways to recognize people that have been out on the front lines and have been working hard during this pandemic and we want to make sure you know that you are appreciated for your efforts,” 

“It was nice to be recognized by the community, especially the nursing homes that sometimes weren’t being recognized during the covid…the staff will appreciate this gift,” Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Administrator Suzanne Gauthier said. 

Boxes of food (with Rotary Gift Cards) for families in need at Shrewsbury High School,
Photo/courtesy of Kathy McSweeney

The timing couldn’t have been better, Gauthier noted, as June 14-21 was Certified Nursing Assistant Appreciation Week. 

“The Rotary Club motto is ‘service above self’ and this is exemplified by what we are doing for the Shrewsbury Nursing Home,” noted Dobson.

Meanwhile, the club also helped support Shrewsbury High School families facing food insecurity, in part, because of the uncertainty of the times.

Just like the Shrewsbury Nursing home, McSweeney remarked that they gave each of the 45 families a $25 gift card from a local grocery store as well.

Gift cards were also presented to the people preparing and delivering the food in appreciation for their work.