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Rotary Club honors high school robotics team

Date: 11/14/2012

By Carley Dangona

AGAWAM — The Agawam Rotary Club (ARC) honored the Rosie Robotics team for its accomplishments on Nov. 9, with a tribute dinner at the Oak Ridge Country Club.

The ARC presented Rosie's co-founder Dana Henry with its prestigious Paul Harris Award that honors people for their service to the community.

In acceptance of the award, Henry stated, "In my mind, this award is not about me, but is tribute to all of you — mentors and students, who over the years shared Mr. Burns' [co-founder] and my vision to help build Rosie what it is today. Thank you."

Henry also stated that the robotics team was created in 2001, and had been "off and running ever since." He added that the award was "rather humbling" and that it's "been a long journey — an interesting ride, but I'm not leaving anytime soon."

Rotarian District Governor Eileen Rau, explained the significance of the Harris Award. "It commends your ability to work together [with the community] and get things done — the youth are our future."

Mayor Richard Cohen applauded the group. "I've followed Rosie since its inception. I could not be more proud of the team and its success," he said. "The local, state and federal governments could take a lesson from Rosie because we would [learn] to work together."

Alumni Emily Roundy spoke about the real-life benefits she gained from participating in the robotics program. "It gave me a head start [in college]. My experience with Rosie taught to ask for help and to accept guidance. I learned what I excel at and what I enjoy, and how I can apply both to have a successful future," she said.

On its website, the team defines its purpose: "Rosie Robotics works to teach science, technology, engineering and math to anyone willing to learn. Rosie Robotics also tries to spread the F.I.R.S.T. [For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology] idea of gracious professionalism. The belief is that it's fun to win, but you can always take a minute out of your time to help and be kind to a fellow team mate or any other team."

For more information about the team, visit,. For information about the Agawam Rotary Club, contact Candace Guerette at The club meets Wednesdays at noon at the Storrowtown Tavern in West Springfield and is always looking for new Rotarians.