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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Lion’s Heart 6th Grade Boys Learn about Franklin Rotary Club

Rotary Club of Franklin MA President Diane Padula, left, had a chance to teach 6th grade members of Lion’s Heart what her organization is all about. Here, they examine their gift Rotary coins. Photo by Paul Vicario and Peter Willis

The President of Rotary Club of Franklin MA, Diane Padula was introduced to “Lion’s Heart” through Julie Vendetti-Lomberto, who invited her to a meeting in her home on May 1st. Lion’s Heart is a national non-profit, teen-based volunteer program with several chapters all over the country. Diane was given the opportunity to talk to twenty-five sixth grade boys about Rotary Club and what they are doing for our community.


She began her introduction to the Lion’s Heart boys, by talking about her Dad, John Padula, and showing photos. “Any success he had, he shared, and he took a lot of pride in being a Rotarian and filling some of the needs of the Town of Franklin,” she said. 

She asked, “Our Rotary motto is “Service Above Self”. What does this mean to you?” Many were quick to answer. Padula added, “My primary goal today is to show you all that the dedication of one person can make a difference in so many ways, but together, through organizations like Rotary Club of Franklin MA and Lion’s Heart, even a small group can make a big impact, for so many.”

Pointing at another picture “My Dad joined Rotary in 1961, and my sisters and I consider ourselves “Rotary Kids.” We grew up knowing the importance of giving back to our community, through action.” Diane went on to discuss the Rotary’s 90 years in the Franklin community, offering an annual scholarship, providing an annual donation to the Franklin Food Pantry and hosting a Valentine’s Day Brunch and Pasta supper for Franklin Seniors. 

This said, Padula invited the Lion’s Heart group to help Rotary its Pasta Supper June 22nd. Not only did they agree to help, but they created 60 gift bags for all of the guests. Each bag consisted of several handpicked goodies and a heartfelt note to the recipient. 

“I was really impressed by each of these boys and how they took their time in writing their messages to brighten someone’s day,” said Padula, “Their presence at this year’s Annual Pasta Supper was met with enthusiasm by all and so very much appreciated”.  

The collaboration could not have gone better. Special thanks to the Lion’s Heart boys, State Rep. Jeffrey Roy and Jamie Hellen, who pitched in, making this event a memorable one.

Rotary is able to complete its service projects through many fundraisers and through generous donations. 2023 Sponsors include:  Dean Bank, MTP Communications, Vendetti Motors, Franklin Car Wash, Jimmy D’s, Vallee Jewelers, Brunelli Electrician and Dr. Jeffrey Morrill & Assoc.  

The group’s next fundraiser is the 7th Annual Car Show, on September 16th, at New England Chapel, 300 E. Central St, Franklin, MA.  For sponsorship information, please contact Gary Convertino [email protected] or John Power  [email protected].

Rotary Club meets the first and third Tuesday of each month, 5:30 p.m., at the Rome Restaurant. If you are interested in attending, contact Diane Padula at [email protected] who will invite you, as her guest, to a meeting.