Jay's "Rotary" Jam
Posted by W. Jay Wanczyk
Hi All, I’ll be scratching out this review of club news this year, as Mary Ann Seeko has relinquished her pen in exchange for a bit of well-earned relaxation. THANK YOU MARY ANN! Mary Ann is now one of a group of past notable writers and dedicated scribes of this column, including recently Peggy Mader and Janice Teetsell and for many years before, Jack Floyd with his classic ‘Floydian Slips’ and Bill ‘Bull” Muller with ‘Bull of the Woods. I’ve chosen, ‘Jay’s Rotary Jam’ for my column’s name, as in ‘It’s my jam!’ which was once used by the hip to describe their favorite music or song, but has now expanded into popular use, meaning simply, ‘my favorite.’
Amazingly, I celebrated joining Pequannock Valley Rotary thirty years ago last December – proof that it pays to join when young, as one can still be reactively young and vertical to be able to say you’re a thirty-plus year member. I’ve also been periodically active on the District Level serving as a Governor’s Representative for three years (precursor to today’s Assistant Governors), served on at least two conference committees, had two long stints on the In Flight committee, (this will be my third), and also currently serve on the Walkfest committee.
Hopefully, my thirty-year Rotary membership and work at the District level has given me a good perspective on Rotary. I have been sometimes asked ‘What was your favorite and most fun year in Rotary?’ My quick answer is there are three of them: The year I was my club’s president, the year I was first asked to be ‘In-Flight Editor’ by Brad Jenkins, PDG, and most importantly, the current Rotary year that I’m in. And that is the key; your participation in Rotary and in your ‘Service Above Self’ should be both rewarding and fun. Each and every year should be your favorite Rotary year! So let’s see what fun has been brewing this past month!
Rotary members from MOUNTAIN LAKES & THE BOONTONS are looking forward to their next project, an ITALIAN ICE SALE, a two-day affair at RFL Fields and a JOINT MEETING WITH MONTVILLE ROTARY. Joint meetings with neighboring clubs are a good way to expand and build friendships and have fun. They also presented their 2016 RUSS CONN AWARD to a deserving Boonton High School student. Artwork was displayed at their club president’s house over one weekend for judging – certainly service above self!
MADISON ROTARY had their ANNUAL CHARITABLE GRANTS AWARD LUNCHEON, making grants available to 53 local charitable orgs, $80K in direct support to the community each year including scholarships. Awards were made in various categories Community Improvement, Education and Youth Groups, the Arts, Helping Special Needs, Community Services. Truly an outstanding effort of all involved.
An EXCHANGE STUDENT from the Dutch/Flemish speaking region of Belgium is on the way to a year with MORRISTOWN ROTARY. In the meantime, The INTERACT group met last week for an end of the year get together/goodbye to the Seniors – cupcakes decorated with the Rotary symbol were donated by a local baker. Sixty gathered for their annual CHANGE OF ADMINISTRATION, “to rub shoulders, enjoy camaraderie, and partake in some great food, hilarious jokes, and various kinds of club humor.” Sounds like fun, but they also had time to add two new Paul Harris fellows. We also read that there was a recent ‘WILDCAT MEETING’ of ‘ELEVEN ROGUE ROTARIANS,’ not to depose the new administration, but to plan for a good showing by of their club at the 2017 ROTARY INTERNATIOAL CONVENTION in Atlanta.
‘The Pinion’ Is filled with updates about BERNARDSVILLE’S JULY 5TH CAR SHOW, a major fund raiser; they partner with the Township Recreation Committee that sponsors a concert that night, but Rotary runs the car show and is the only food vendor at the event. They heard Mike Hoban presented his experiences on bicycling the TOUR D’AFRIQUE. from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. They’re also collecting CLUB MEMORIES of members who have volunteered and served in recent years. At least two scholarship’s given out, too.
BRANCHVILLE’s “Mountain Air” indicated that education was much in the air as they recognized another STUDENT OF THE MONTH and gave out at least eight SCHOLARSHIPS to graduates from four different high schools in their territory. They’re also performing some necessary chores in updating their BY-LAWS– not fun, but a welcome relief when done. Plans are underway for manning their ROAST BEEF BOOTH at the Sussex Fair – as of press time, there were still 35 shifts to fill!
WALKILL VALLEY - A ROTARY DISTRICT 7470 GRANT that the club garnered went to purchase a large TV for the VETERANS HOSPITAL AT LYONS and were also able to purchase a TV for the new veterans meeting place in Franklin. Most clubs cover more than one municipality, and Wallkill Valley recently made donations to their FOUR LOCAL FIRST AID SQUADS in Ogdensburg, Sussex, Hamburg (and by press time), Wantage.
HANOVER ROTARY Did you know that the WHIPPANY ROTARY CLUB has been renamed as the HANOVER ROTARY CLUB? ‘Hanover Whip’ reported that their board approved a $1,300 donation to the YOUTH FELLOWSHIP at the First Presbyterian Church of Whippany. The money will be used to rent two vans to support their MISSION TO MOUNTAIN T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Project). They heard a program about New Eyes for the Needy, which provides new prescription eye glasses, through a voucher program, to people who cannot afford them.
NEWTON – 'NEWTONIAN' - Youth Service was very much on the mind of the Newtonians in June as they welcomed their SHORT-TERM YOUTH EXCHANGE STUDENT back from Japan. She brought three beautiful banners from Rotary Clubs she visited. They are looking for two host families are still needed for their incoming YOUTH EXCHANGE STUDENT from Thailand. They heard a presentation from a representative of ‘CASA’ - COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN in Morris and Sussex County and also reported that their annual SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM was a big success, thanks to George Kaiser and all the committee members.
GLEN RIDGE – “The Lamplighter” Reports that they are already planning for CAMP MERRY HEART SERVICE on August 10 and making a good showing at the PRESIDENTS BALL in September! A report from one of their members visited Israel, but no word if he made up at a local Rotary club there. Make-ups are fun, especially when traveling abroad. Glen Ridge Rotary Club sponsored the 58TH ANNUAL RECOGNITION BREAKFAST FOR HIGH HONOR STUDENTS of Glen Ridge High School, which was held at Women’s Cub and was attended by over 300 students and parents.
NUTLEY'S “Nutshell” tells that their club had an after MEMORIAL DAY PARADE BBQ, but found their tents were in questionable condition after being lent out, which they will not do in the future. Their GOLF OUTING had good weather and people liked it, but it was not a money maker, and they are questioning continuing it in the future. Their new officers were already installed, with Barbara Hirsch being recognized as ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR. Special attention was given to Walt Smith and Bob Peters who had almost 70 YEARS OF PERFECT ATTENDANCE between them; Walt with 30 years and Bob with 38 years.
‘The Early Riser’ reports that MORRIS PLAINS ROTARY was recognized and thanked by their Township Council, Mayor and Board of Education for their work on a “1D1S PROJECT” - AN HONOR GARDEN AND PLAQUES at a local school honoring service men & women. Morris Plains Rotarians were in abundance at their MEMORIAL DAY PARADE and ceremony, acting as parade marshals, serving on the parade committee and having a float accompanied by marchers. They are also making plans for CAMP MERRY HEART, a step project at the infirmary and a suspended ceiling in the counselors’ lodge. They are apparently also good bowlers; their ROTARY BOWLING TEAM won FIRST PLACE!
The ROTARY CLUB OF MADISON invited high school juniors to participate in ‘A LAWS OF LIFE ESSAY AWARD’ to encourage students to explore their core values, such as honesty, perseverance, and compassion and 21 applications were received. First place was a $1,000 award for ‘HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY,’ second a $500 award for ‘YOU NEVER REALLY UNDERSTAND A PERSON UNTIL YOU CONSIDER THINGS FROM HIS/HER POINT OF VIEW and third place, $250 for ‘EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON’. Madison also awarded $5,000 in SCHOLARSHIPS based upon student’s commitment to volunteerism, helping others, and a philosophy to embrace Rotary's motto "Service Above Self". A CLUB ASSEMBLY focusing on the coming Rotary year was also held to share information with Club members, identify issues and discuss future plans. MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT is going to be a key focus for the coming year.
‘The Nairator’ - Rotarian spelled backwards- reported that the ROTARY CLUB OF THE CALDWELLS had their Installation dinner, besides new slate of officers, and a new PAUL HARRIS FELLOW, they gave a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD to a member who has been at virtually every fundraiser for 17 years, (Congratulations, Dora!) They also have a RISING STAR OF THE YEAR, an ABOVE AND BEYOND AWARD and a SERVICE ABOVE SELF award. A good way to build fellowship and club involvement! The Caldwell’s had their 45TH ANNUAL GOLF OUTING this year at the Knolls. Half of the proceeds are being donated to help complete a medical clinic, the other half to help to fund all of their other donations made throughout the year. No word on the number of golfers, but looked like a great and successful day. Their consignment shop, WILLING HEARTS is in the running as ‘Best Consignment Shop in the Suburban Essex, Best of Essex contest!
‘THE VIXENS’ are also living proof of an extremely important and valuable, aspect of Rotary, FELLOWSHIP. This group of Caldwell Rotarians conceived and successfully ran a unique, new fundraiser and recently presented a $2000 check to aid local families in need. They raised the funds by holding a dance at the Rogers Dance Center. The ‘Nairator” concluded their comments by noting the bonds formed between the VIXENS, and with others, seems especially important this month as June is Rotary International Fellowship Month.
‘The Rooster’ informed us that ROTARY CLUB OF THE MENDHAMS were saddened by the sudden passing away of their member HARRY PINTO. They are also missing out on their annual FOOD SERVICE PROJECT at this year’s JULY 4H PARADE, as due to it being the 100-year anniversary celebration of the Mendham Township Fire Department, where much free food will be available which would not be good for sales! On a brighter note, they had a great program, with Margit Rahill presenting a program about BOOKBINDING AND RESTORATION, there are less than 150 full service bookbinding and restorations shops in the country! They are considering ways they might aid HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, possibly a once a year with a hands-on effort. They gave out five SCHOLARSHIPS this year.
The ROTARY CLUB OF THE ROCKAWAYS ‘Hub Pub’ noted three Scholarships have been awarded. Their ROCKAWAY ROTARY 5K RUN/WALK TO FIGHT HUNGER was on June 18th and Runners competed for awards presented to the overall male/female winners, along with winners of various age groups and Rockaway residents. This year, proceeds from the Rockaway Rotary 5K Run/Walk will benefit Rockaway Rotary Club’s charitable projects throughout the upcoming year including their commitment to “FIGHT HUNGER” in their communities. Part of the monies raised will be distributed to the Rockaway Food Closet. How many runners did you have? At their June 15, 2016 Rockaway Rotary Club meeting, Donna Theese was awarded the ROCKAWAY ROTARY CLUB "EAGLE AWARD" Congrats to “Eagle Donna!” We’ll have to discover what that award is all about.
“Pee Vee Views” reported that PEQUANNOCK VALLEY ROTARY Had their third largest fund raiser of the year on June 12th, the PV ROTARY DAY 5K RUN/WALK which saw just over 180 runners, walkers and wheel chair’ers participate. Formerly known as ‘The Run for Marge’ this was their first time running the sanctioned event under the new name and without the founding race directors, who retired. Three of the TEN SCHOLARSIPS that were presented this year came from part of the proceeds, which also aids other community efforts. Since its inception, the scholarship program has awarded almost $300,000 in scholarships to students from Pequannock/Pompton Plains, Lincoln Park and Riverdale. A special catered lunch was held at American Legion Post 242 for all scholarship recipients and their parents or guardians.
An interesting program of note included A BOURBON TASTING curated by a representative of a noted area wine and spirits retailer, their scribe carefully noting that four different bourbons were tasted. This summer, the club’s social events including A FISHING TRIP AND BBQ at the shore, a separate LOBSTER DINNER and a CLUB PICNIC are all planned for the summer, as work begins on the fall Golf Outing, their major fund raiser. And as good weather finally ensued, Pequannock Valley Rotary was renewing their WELCOME SIGNS at the entrances to their three municipalities.
The PHILLIPSBURG ROTARY CLUB and the Greenwich Angels Education Foundation have partnered with run a raffle to HELP THE CHILDREN OF GREENWICH TOWNSHIP. A portion of this raffle is slated to go to the ROTARY FOUNDATION. The winner of First Prize will get two tickets for 7 days at the PGA Championships at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield NJ in July of this year.
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