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Rotarians honored for park service

Recipients went 'above and beyond' for work

Joseph Kowalski, right, Pauline White, center, and Calvin Montigney, left, who were honored at the Rotary Club dinner Monday night for their work on Rotary Park. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
January 18, 2011
STURBRIDGE — After exemplifying Rotary International's motto of "Service above Self" by maintaining a local park, three area individuals were honored by the Sturbridge Rotary Club during its dinner Monday night, Jan. 17, at the Publick House.

Joseph Kowalski, Calvin Matigney and Pauline White were each presented with a plaque to represent the Rotary Club's appreciation of their commitment to maintaining and preserving the park located at the intersection of Route 20's eastbound lanes and Cedar Street. The park was created in 2006 to celebrate Rotary International's 100th year in existence, and it now features trees, plants, flowers and benches.

"Every member of the club helped to create the park four years ago, and the group always put in a good effort to maintain it," said Dick Vaughan, the program director for the Sturbridge Rotary Club. "The people who were honored tonight really went above and beyond by frequently cleaning the park and even planting flowers."

Some members of the group initially assumed that employees from the Sturbridge Department of Public Works had been responsible for maintaining the park, but they eventually learned about the integral roles of Kowalski, Matigney and White. According to Vaughan, Matigney used his experience as a landscaper to accomplish such tasks as raking leaves, cleaning debris, and ensuring that the park looked presentable. White, an honorary member of the Sturbridge Rotary Club, was credited with growing hundreds of flowers and other plants in the park, and Kowalski, a tree biologist and arborist who works with Ganesh Tree, of Sturbridge, was praised for his assistance as well.

"The park is a permanent and beautiful entity in our town, and we are very proud of all the work that was done," Vaughan added.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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