Jay's Rotary Jam
With the fall of September, ‘back to school’ was the principle theme for many families, Rotary families included. But September was also time for the GIFT OF LIFE Annual Meeting where members of many clubs gathered to hear about the wonderful progress made in saving young lives and also of plans for the future. With dozens and dozens of open-heart surgeries just this past year, children from seven countries were saved, plus there were five co-sponsored medical training missions as well, with 4 to 15 children saved during each.
Medical training and equipment were also given to Cuban doctors, the first mission since our countries established relationships. GIFT OF LIFE helped fund a new program, ‘Our Hearts Are In’ Romania, too. Barbara Ciconte, President of Take Heart Association Project, USA shared her vivid experiences of helping to save children from Kenya who suffer from congenital heart disease, children who would otherwise perish. Many of District 7470’s clubs took the opportunity to present major contributions towards the Gift of Life effort. It was a truly heartening evening, both figuratively and literally!
Many clubs and club members are planning to participate in October’s WALKFEST. WALKFEST is 1.) A simple way for clubs to help fulfill their club’s annual pledge to the Rotary Foundation; 2.) An easy way to build Foundation credits to make new Paul Harris Fellows; 3.) A practical way for your club to raise funds for your club’s other activities and 4.) It is an already planned and structured fund-raiser, family-friendly and fun, a healthy outdoor event with a light breakfast and a lunch by Master BBQ Chef Larry Ripley! What could be better?
Please note that WALKFEST is a separate District wide cooperative effort and a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization which is supported by the efforts of individual District Rotarians on behalf of all District Rotary Clubs, especially those small and medium sized clubs who due to their size, are not able to sponsor a giant fundraiser on their own.
BRANCHVILLE’S ‘MOUNTAIN AIR’ A report received too late for our September column deadline was that Branchville enjoyed a fun social time at their ‘BROOK PARTY’ with swimming, much sweet corn and good food, drink and even one unfortunate food malfunction… What’s a good picnic without one! Tim Sun shared a slide show describing briefly the 5000 years of continuously documented CHINESE CULTURE. Tim has spoken to many clubs, including my home club Pequannock Valley, and he presents a fascinating and eye-opening program. Branchville also heard a presentation from members of the FRANKFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT, one of two fire departments left in Sussex County that is still independent. (Most district volunteer fire companies are part of their municipalities’ fire department.)
A program by the manager of the SUSSEX COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS informed them that the annual fair is a not-for-profit organization not connected to County or State governments, and that they have held 151 other events there – weddings, birthdays “and lots of exhibitor shows.”: bet you did not know that, either! Their bulletin also carried an intriguing article about a group of that innovative Rotarians have organized “Beers Rotarians Enjoy Worldwide” BREW which is working to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Rotary's global water, sanitation, and hygiene efforts. Fellowships like BREW are Rotary's way of bringing together members who share a particular passion and this sounds like a refreshing idea. Who will be the first Rotary in the District to have a BREW fundraising event? (With car services like Uber and Lyft around, it should no longer be a problem!)
HANOVER’S ‘WHIP’ reports that their club’s October 1 PANCAKE BREAKFAST is all arranged and posters are to be distributed. They heard several interesting programs during the month. One was from GOOD GRIEF, a not-for-profit that works with children who have had a parent or sibling die, providing support to the entire family as well in Morristown and Princeton. Another was about EMPLOYMENT HORIZONS, a not-for-profit agency providing comprehensive employment, training and job placement services to people with physical disabilities, autism, downs syndrome, and other disabilities in the greater Morris County area - their off-site employment includes janitorial and grounds keeping services at Picatinny Arsenal.
Rounding out their programs was a presentation about the 30 year old WIGHT FOUNDATION, that currently provides for 122 students from Newark and surrounding area attending approximately 55 boarding schools in the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regions and focusing on addressing teen pregnancy and the fact that not many students were graduating from the high schools. All good programs that keep members attendance rates up! The Hanover Club also recently sent ‘SHELTER BOXES’ to Louisiana and one for Italy and donated $2000 to the INTERFAITH FOOD PANTRY.
NUTLEY’S ‘NUTSHELL’ tells us that a copy of the 56-page “ABC’S of ROTARY” was emailed to all members. Early indications were that members were eagerly anticipating the arrival of Larry Ripley who later in the month made a presentation on WHAT TO DO IN A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. He will gladly do a program for your club, too, but this columnist believes a free lunch may be involved in the equation!
Many Nutley members also enjoyed a few social hours one recent late Summer Monday evening at the “DINAN ESTATE,” PDG John and Jane Dinan’s abode. Nutley Member SAL ROSAMILA was named NUTLEY’S MAN OF THE YEAR at a reception for the NUTLEY- BELLEVILLE COLUMBUS DAY HONOREES where a number of Rotarians were on hand to show their support. Congratulations, Sal! Each year, the Nutley community honors NEW TEACHERS with a RECEPTION and Nutley Rotary participates, this year it was their turn to bring desserts. A nice friendly community tradition!
THE ROCKAWAY’S ‘HUB PUB’ During one of the last weeks of summer, members of the MORRIS HILLS SOCCER TEAMS spruced up a local park including staining the ROTARY MEMORIAL GAZEBO and weeding around the gazebo and Veterans Memorial. The ‘ young men’ (No young women on the teams?) reportedly did an exceptional job beautifying the gazebo area and the members of Rockaway Rotary are looking forward to continuing to work with the MHHS students on more projects in the future. A great example of Rotary partnering with other groups in their towns. Incidentally, the Rockaways’ will be holding there October 5th regular meeting at the same gazebo – sounds like fun!
On a sad note, Rockaway lost a member this month: William (Bill) Pojedinec, Past President 2010-2011 and a Paul Harris fellow. Bill’s wife Mary Ann, a former Rockaway Rotarian, passed away a few weeks earlier. Our condolences to their family and all of their friends. On a lighter note, Rockaway Rotary participated in the "Celebrate Rockaway" Street Fair on Sunday, September 25, 2016 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM in the center of Rockaway Borough.
THE CALDWELL’S ‘NAIRATOR’ Big news this month is that The Caldwells’ newest member, one ‘Erin’ has been speaking and meeting with students at Caldwell University about forming a new ROTARACT CLUB (for young adults, 18+). We wish Erin and The Caldwells the best in their efforts and this is a reminder to involve your newest members in achieving your club goals. They have both the motivation and energy to get off to a great start in Rotary.
The considerable renovations at their consignment shop, WILLING HEARTS were completed, involving the jewelry platform which was modified and reinforced and new display cabinets were installed. Renovations were done under the direction of ‘Dr. Sue’ with the assistance of many other volunteers to make the shop look better and operate more efficiently.
The Caldwells also recently approved $2400 to fund fencing around the perimeter of a POLLINATOR GARDEN in Caldwell and they received recognition at a recent Borough Council meeting. The ‘Nairator’ crowned their own “WONDER WOMEN,” Susan, 50/50 chair, and Erin, their newest member, who sold $475 in Street Fair 50/50 tickets at a local liquor store on Labor day.
And speaking of the street fair, THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY CALDWELL STREET FAIR was set for October 2nd and it will have been history by press time, but this event, co-sponsored by both The CALDWELLS ROTARY AND KIWANIS CLUBS, once again had members of both clubs working side by side to ensure the success of the fair. We wish them much success!
NEWTON ROTARY – Words are sparse from Newton these days, (please add me to your bulletin email list!), but the announcement has been made that DENISE CURRENT of the Newton Rotary Club has been selected to receive a VOCATIONAL SERVICE AWARD on Wednesday, October 5th at THE STATEWIDE VOCATIONAL ASSEMBLY at Pines Manor, Edison, N.J. Congratulations to Denise and the Newton Rotary for nominating her. A reminder that each year, each Rotary club has an opportunity to nominate someone to receive the award; one award is made from nominees from each of the five Rotary Districts in New Jersey.
MORRISTOWN’S ‘RAMBLER’ indicated that their quarterly dinner meeting was featured “COCKTAILS, DINNER, AND PIA REICH!” Pia shared her experiences with the members and guests regarding her participation in the recent Rotary International Conference in Korea. After her presentation, Pia was surprised by a presentation making her a PAUL HARRIS FELLOW! Never at rest, Pia is a the chair, the energizer bunny and the busy bee for this year’s WALKFEST set for October 9th in Loantaka Brook Reservation in Morris Township.
Morristown Rotary had a long distance visitor Sherif P. Barakat, the founding president of one of Rotary’s newest clubs, located in October Palm Hills, Egypt. Founded last in October of 2015, they already have 35 members!
MORRIS PLAINS’ ‘EARLY RISER’ Participation in the MORRIS PLAINS BLOCK DANCE is on the club’s schedule, serving hot dogs, baked goods, drinks and snow cones and using the event as a promotional event and also selling their 50/50 raffle tickets there. They were also planning for their October 9th COMMUNITY BREAKFAST. Placemat ads cost $45 for the small size, $75 for medium and $150 for the large size in case you wanted a comparison to what your club might charge.
While they had fun at their BBQ picnic and a Patriots Baseball game, Morris Plains also had a ROTARY FAMILY TIKI BIRTHDAY PARTY at a member’s home where they celebrated a member’s 70th as well. They had a caterer preparing and serving food, wine, beer and Tiki bar drinks for $20 per person. That sounds like great fun and a fantastic deal as well, but we heard the through the grape vine that they’ve “had some difficulty with the pictures.” Perhaps some are hoping that those lost pixels never turn up!
Morris Plains went BACK TO SCHOOL when the heard about their school from the Board of Ed. business administrator who spoke about energy efficiency and operational projects costing $5.2 million and ADA compliant renovations costing just over $1 million, a reminder how expensive being greener and having open access is. They also had a program from their own Larry Ripley, (who happens to be the editor of this digital ‘rag’), about finding and RETAINING MEMBERS; (Did Larry get a free breakfast as speaker that meeting?)
WALKILL VALLEY - Everyone is preparing for the SUSSEX FIREMAN’S PARADE at the end of September. The club will distribute lunches after the parade.
PEQUANNOCK VALLEY – Had its largest fund raiser of the year, the PV ROTARY CHARITY GOLF OUTING with 104 golfers enjoying a full day at The Meadows in Lincoln Park, where they had a continental breakfast, box lunch and full dinner after the 18 holes, plus putting contest. Another new member joined, their fifth of the year, Chuck DiGiamo. A 40 year resident who was a contributing member of another service organization dor 20-25 years, said he had “reached a time in his life that allowed him to join us and he is happy to be a part of it. His friendship with many members began years ago, and he often has worked to help the club at various events for the past several years. Welcome to Rotary Chuck!
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