His vacation from civic club duties is officially over, but Gary Gambardella will resume his fundraising and charitable activities as a member of a different Rotary Club.
After more than two decades with the , Gambardella resigned last summer and took a break for six months. At the end of January, he was installed as a member of the Branford Rotary Club.
He said he is eager to resume his work for his new club where he left off with his old club, which includes scholarships for high school students and providing food baskets for needy families for Thanksgiving.
Gambardella operates , a family business on Michael Street in East Haven, established in 1978. He said the company does business in both communities, East Haven and Branford, and is a member of both the East Haven and Branford Chambers of Commerce.
"Our philosophy is to handle the big accounts, but be a place where the individual could get his needs met," he said.
Although he was a longtime member of the East Haven Rotary, Gambardella said he found himself spending more time in Branford.
Rotary is a civic commitment. Members are expected to attend the weekly meetings and participate in its civic-minded projects. The East Haven Rotary meets for dinner on Thursday evenings at the Beachhead Restaurant, while the Branford Rotary holds luncheon meetings on Mondays at the Italian American Club.
Gambardella grew up in Hamden and graduated from Quinnipiac University in 1983 with a degree in accounting, which he got taking night-school classes.
He is an avid boater, the owner of a 21-foot inboard-outboard powerboat he keeps at his vacation house in Cape Cod.
Two years ago, he said he rescued a man and his five-year-old son who had gotten caught in a strong current and pulled away from shore off Washburn Island.
He served on the East Haven Rotary’s Scholarship Committee, which gave one or two $1,000 scholarships to deserving high school students each year, on the Thanksgiving Basket Committee, and on the Board of Directors.
Gambardella said he felt he had accomplished just about all he could as a member of the East Haven Rotary. Since the Branford Rotary is a bigger club, he expects there will be additional opportunities.