Life Around The District

Rockaway Awards Grants
At its weekly luncheon meeting on March 1st, the Rotary Club of the Rockaways hosted an Awards Celebration.  Honored were the Food Closet of Rockaway with a $600 donation, Saint Peter’s Orphanage of Denville with a $600 donation and Gift of Life NJ with a $900 donation.  
The funds were raised at the Valentines Wine Tasting Event held on January 28th at The Mission at Rockaway.  More than 75 Rotarians and non-Rotarians attended the event which included wines from four different regions of the world and great food, both supplied and catered by Shop Rite of Parsippany.  Several gift baskets and a 50/50 raffle rounded out an evening of fun, fellowship and great exposure for Rotary.

(L to R) Ken Nickel, Club Treasurer & President Elect;

Christine Zelinski, Volunteer at the Rockaway Food Closet;

Dennis Dondero, Committee Co-Chairman, Gift of Life NJ;

Kathryn Otillio, Direct Care Counselor, Saint Peter’s Orphanage;

Sheila Seifert, Rockaway Rotary Club President


Montclair Creates MLK Memorial
The Montclair Rotary Club, the local public library and the Miller family recently joined together to create a permanent display of artist Don Miller’s historic Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Mural. This is a compact version of the late artist’s 56-foot long by seven-foot high mural, which depicts Dr. King’s life.
The larger-scale version was commissioned by the National Library in Washington, D.C. and was unveiled during first observance of Dr. King’s birthday as a national holiday. This mural, which is an original artwork, is now on permanent display at the Montclair Public Library.
Shown in the photo from left to right are Montclair Rotarians Bob Schwartz, Club Secretary; Georgia Brown, Dr. Meg Banitch, Club President Alicia Robinson, Linda Cranston, who organized the project; and Stuart Keil, president of the Montclair Rotary Foundation.

Oh, say can you see....
The Rotary Club of Bernardsville celebrated Valentine’s Day this year by coming out  mid-afternoon of the blizzard of February 9th  to prepare and host their Veterans Valentine Appreciation Dinner at the VA Hospital in Lyons, NJ.
Save the Date flyers had already been posted  and many Vets had been working throughout the morning to get the party room organized and set up, all the time hoping and wondering if we would be able to make it through the snow.  And then, gradually and steadily, happy Rotarians arrived, completing numerous necessary tasks and starting on time.
60-80 Veterans from various branches of service joined the 30 Rotarians, family members and YMCA volunteers to enjoy an evening of fun, fellowship and great foods plus home-made desserts, all served by the Rotarians.  The evening began with George Burd leading all present in solemnly saluting the Flag and followed with a robust and moving rendition of the National Anthem led by Hal and Carmella Moeller from the Madison club.
Personally made valentine cards were provided by children from Gentle Shepherd Preschool, students from the preschool and after school programs at the Y, and Mrs. Rogers’ 1st grade class. These small tokens of caring brought much happiness, many smiles and proved to be a very touching highlight of the evening.
Local businesses also contributed to the celebration as recognition to our Vets. Thanks to ShopRite and Starbucks of Bernardsville, Kings Catering of Bedminster and Antonio Berisha of Lumi Zi restaurant for their generosity.
As Rotarians, we are familiar with our “Service Above Self” motto. The Bernardsville Rotarians and others who shared in this joyful evening were honored, inspired and humbled to be in the presence of our Veterans who had truly demonstrated Service Above Self. Thank you to Rotary District 7470 for the Grant that allowed the Rotary Club of Bernardsville to host this memorable project.