Jay's Rotary Jam
This, the season of ‘ALL HALLOWS EVE’ is also the time for the spirits of all District Rotarians to rise in an appreciative salute to their club presidents at the PRESIDENTS - FOUNDATION BALL at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, while at the same time celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Rotary Foundation. November 18th is the date. We hear that to make registration easier, the organizers are beginning the process of starting online registration for District events and activities! Details and a link should appear elsewhere in this issue.
Many clubs have participated in special Halloween activities for the kids, emphasizing the fun of the night while in a controlled setting, as in ‘TRUNK OR TREAT’ nights; (Ask your kids or grandkids!). However, at least three of our clubs are addressing an even larger bogeyman that is appearing in our District towns and suburbs, one that we all need to confront and address: the soaring abuse of, and addiction to PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND OPIOIDS. It’s been estimated by some local law enforcement officers that the preponderance of today's crimes is drug related, up to 90%.
This month, we have read of three clubs, Hanover, Branchville and Pequannock Valley who have had programs or are taking an active role in community education and drug abuse prevention activities. These efforts directly address serving both our youth and our communities, two of the five Rotary Avenues of Service. We hope to hear of more awareness efforts soon. Meanwhile, we hope there is still some of that Halloween candy left by the time you read this!
LIVINGSTON ROTARY’s plans are under way to “increase membership, find alternate avenues to raise funds and to find out more about how they can help organizations in their community.” To that end, they have organized a community “MEET & GREET” for October 24 at a local restaurant. We hope to hear how they do. They are also considering a pancake breakfast for this coming spring. As far as helping organizations in the community, they will be applying for A DISTRICT GRANT this year that is intended to help a local school which services children with varied disabilities. They also help by serving food at that school’s THANKSGIVING FEAST. Livingston is firing on all cylinders, meeting their objectives! On a sad note, the Livingston club also noted the passing of KEN DeGHETTO, an active member of nine years. Our sympathies are extended to his club, his friends and his family.
MOUNTAIN LAKES & THE BOONTONS were one of the clubs getting ready for a community ‘TRUNK OR TREAT’ and then a ‘TRICKY TRAY’ a week later. That’s a lot of “T’s” to say or type! They recently participated in BOONTON DAY, and next year they will be celebrating the Town’s 150th Anniversary on that day - which means commemorating their ‘divorce’ from Pequannock Township! No word on the outcome of their ITALIAN ICE SALE on Columbus Day weekend at the RFL Field Tournament, the final decision to proceed was to be made based on volunteer availability\and weather predictions...not always controllable.
The ROCKAWAY’S entered into the ‘spirit,’ of the season a month early when they had a program, “PREPARING FOR THE INEVITABLE.” We know “the inevitable’ was not about the pending gasoline tax increase as it was presented by guests from the local funeral home and involved ‘pre-planning.’ More into the spirit of the day, they planned an October 31st HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL with candy, popcorn, games, a bounce house and a ‘TRUNK OR TREAT’ all in a ‘safe environment’ for the kids. They had a successful al fresco lunch meeting in their PARK LAKE GAZEBO, and looking at the photos, it seems they had fun with a good turnout and good weather.
The Rockaways club was also getting ready for their DICTIONARY PROGRAM by labeling the dictionaries in preparation for distribution to all of the 3rd graders in Rockaway Borough and Rockaway Township public and parochial schools. Once again they helped beautify the boro by doing a trash pick-up as part of the ROCKAWAY BORO CLEAN-UP PROJECT and they received a donation from the Borough through the NJ Clean Communities Grant Program, too! Two members received recognitions as PAUL HARRIS FELLOWS during the month: Ken Nickel, Club President-Elect, and Bob Galenkamp. Congratulations to both Ken and Bob!
WALKILL VALLEY may be short on words this month, but wrote of at least two interesting programs on ‘THERAPY & RALLY DOGS’ and on Medicare & the ‘STATUS OF SELFCARE.” I’m not sure about that ‘Selfcare’ though. Does this mean I might have to bill myself after taking an aspirin? Members are waiting in anticipation to attend the early December ‘JOHN DENVER SHOW’ at the Holiday Theatre; however John will only be present in spirit!
MORRISTOWN ROTARY is looking beyond the holidays and is already planning for TASTE OF MORRISTOWN on March 6th and hoping to make it the “best TRICKY TRAY yet!” (This writer is still enjoying that great bike I won there several years ago and that pair of hall mirrors I won last year. Keep up the good work, folks!) The EAGLE SCOUT who created projects for the Interfaith Food Pantry has invited them to his Honor Ceremony, always a worthwhile occasion.
MADISON ROTARY is also hosting an OPEN HOUSE and invites members of the community to attend as guests to learn more about ROTARY’S purpose, its projects, networking opportunities, giving back to the community as well as the benefits of being a Madison Rotarian. The open house will be held at both club meeting locations, the Madison YMCA or Madison Hotel. Hope to hear how well the outreach did. Madison Rotary also hosted another COMMUNITY SHREDDING DAY open to the public from all communities, not just Madison. Over 28 Madison Rotarians operated their traditional food booth on BOTTLE HILL DAY by selling hamburgers, hot dogs, hot pretzels and cold drinks to many of the over 10,000 people who participated! They noted that everything was complete sold out by 4 pm. Proceeds of the day are used to fund a portion of Madison Rotary's charitable distribution program which supports over 40 local charities.
HANOVER ROTARY was informed that their meeting place, the HANOVER MARRIOTT, will begin a $12 million renovation starting in December. They will need to find a temporary meeting location until mid-February. They had a program on the substance abuse program from the MORRIS AREA COALITION FOR EDUCATION AND POSITIVE CHOICES, which is working together with the Morris County Prosecutor’s office, the Sheriff’s Department and nine towns. They also heard from one individual making the right choices, Claire Donahue, who spoke about her 21-day trip to Japan with the District's ROSS REDMAN SHORT TERM YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAM, now in its 28th year!
The Hanover’s Rotary board approved $600 for a bench at the CHRIS COSGROVE MEMORIAL as part of Joey Mihalko’s EAGLE SCOUT Project and approved another $200 in support of building a shed at the BEA MEADOW POOL, another Eagle Scout project. An interesting spin was that they held their first PANCAKE BREAKFAST at a local Applebee’s instead of at a church or firehouse and they netted a profit of $1000 after their $400 in expenses was subtracted. For Halloween, they were looking into participating in the MASQUERADE AT MALAPARDIS, a community event which had over 800 happy children. The question is, will their members be participating in costume, and if so, will they share photos?
MORRIS PLAINS ROTARY’S legendary S.O.S. COMMUNITY BREAKFAST was another success. As always they had their famous creamed chipped beef over toast, (or as quoted direct from their bulletin, “as it’s better known S.O.S.”), pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, munchkins and an assortment of hot and cold beverages. On a more serious note, they heard from Ellsworth Havens from the Madison Rotary Club speaking about END HUNGER 3.6. A program started through the Madison Rotary Club Foundation that helps to fight hunger in their own community: their 3 year goal is supporting one million meals annually. So far, this year they have approximately $50,000 pledged toward their big MARCH event to feed the hungry in NJ. The recipient organizations of the meals (so far) will be the NJ Salvation Army, The Table for Hope and the Market Street Mission. They also heard from speakers on ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATIONS and Ann Grossi, the MORRIS COUNTY CLERK.
THE CALDWELLS’ 25th AnniversarySTREET FAIR is over and we understand that their 50/50 RAFFLE is a major source of their income as well as an important part of the Street Fair. Under the direction of ‘SUSAN,’ they reached $7485 in presales, an impressive and unprecedented total exceeding their street fair partner, the Kiwanis, by about $4000! The Nairator noted that after distributing tickets, Susan energetically spoke to members every week, encouraging everyone to sell, sell, sell. “She alone sold $955 in 50/50 tickets before the fair - more than anyone else in the club this year and, probably, more than anyone in any prior year.” Several others also had very impressive sales totals: Jennifer, $760, Rasheeda, $595 and Phil D., $475. Kudos to each and all of the club on your success!
BRANCHVILLE focused on youth and the community this past month, first by organizing their DICTIONARY PROJECT for each of their school districts and then hearing from at least two of their high school’s students of the month, as well as Superintendent Braden Hirsch who spoke on ISSUES IN EDUCATION. They then heard from Ike Richards and Katie Calvacca who spoke about the CLEAR program, which stands for COMMUNITY LAW ENFORCEMENT ADDICTION RECOVERY. CLEAR was formed when the police found that folks they’d given Narcan to, (the antidote to opioid overdoses), needed it multiple times due to an addition problem. They teamed up with community leaders, the Center for Prevention, and Newton Medical Center to provide better recovery services. It’s estimated that at least three-quarters of all crime is connected to drug activity, and 78 are dying each day in this country from an overdose. Branchville also heard from ZUFALL HEALTH SERVICES, a non-profit organization that reaches out to those in the community who have no health or dental insurance. Lastly, they noted that two members, the Smiths, were on hand when a former EXCHANGE STUDENT from Brazil, recently was married!
NUTLEY’S NUTSHELL noted how well the annual COMMUNITY NEW TEACHERS’ RECEPTION went, that the DICTIONARIES are in and will be delivered as soon as the principals agree on a date, and the community service project discussed a while back, an update the VIOLA BOCCI COURT will be done in the spring. Next month’s SCHOLARSHIP RAFFLE is approaching, which is the sole source of income for their scholarship program. To date they have given over $325,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS. That's a lot of raffle tickets that have been sold over the years! Nutley heard from one of their own, Fred Scalara who addressed the lack of communication between towns, agencies, police and fire, etc. Since 2001, Fred has been working on projects and funding for programs that will allow for the kinds of communication that are needed.
We learned through another source that CEDAR GROVE ROTARY is co-sponsoring (with their Chamber of Commerce) a MURDER MYSTERY DINNER fundraiser on November 3rd at The Brownstone (Paterson-Wayne boarder). We also had a fun visit about a month ago with NEWARK ROTARY. Plans were already underway for their extensive DICTIONARY EFFORT. We learned from John Wilson that NEWARK was one of the FIRST 100 ROTARY CLUBS organized and chartered, 1910, and that their NJ State Charter simply indicated ‘Rotary Club, not ‘Rotary Club of Newark’ as they were the only one in the state! Rotary’s founder, PAUL HARRIS visited and spoke to them on their 25th Anniversary in 1935. Also during the 1930’s, they had a good relationship with the BOSTON ROTARY and chartered three tri-motor airplanes to go to Boston for lunch, but only two went, the rest chickened out! Now let’s hear more about what you are doing today!
PEQUANNOCK VALLEY began the month by hearing about an 85,000 square foot facility, AKA ‘THE CASTLE,’ being built on the former MacDonald’s beach property fronting on Route 23. With six main banquet rooms and with two state of the art kitchens, it is slated to open near the end of 2017. Might it be a good site for a District-wide event someday? Pequannock Valley was also making plans for their annual VETERANS LUNCH set for November 9th at the Lincoln Park American Legion Hall with a goal of having 100 Veterans present. Also in Lincoln Park, 14 members worked to CLEAR THE TRAIL along part of the old Morris Canal. Afterwards, Rotarian ‘Darmo,' who organized the club’s participation, bought lunch and refreshment at their usual meeting place for all who worked the four hours! A program, based on a Ted Talk’s podcast, “THE SPELLBINDING ART OF HUMAN ANATOMY was presented by member Dr. Erick Jackowsky.
One of their most sobering recent programs was presented by two of Pequannock’s Police detectives, who indicated that THE PREPONDERANCE OF CRIME IS DRUG RELATED, up to 90%. Between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2015 in Morris County, there were 78 fatal overdoses and in 2015, police or emergency medical personnel began to administer Narcan - the nasal opioid reversal antidote and in 50 cases, all but six survived.
One week after the club presentation, a community wide program on PRESCRIPTION OPIOID AND HEROIN ABUSE, organized by a new grass roots group, COMMUNITY PARTNERS FOR HOPE, co-sponsored by PV Rotary, took place with over 150 residents present. Sadly the epidemic still has not spiked, “This year through mid-September (in Morris County, Narcan has been administered 81 times, but five of those lives could not be saved," according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Bradford Seabury, who heads the special operations division. Education is still they key to prescription drug and opioid abuse.
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See you at the Presidents/Foundation Ball!