Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary’s Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 29, 2016, 2-6:00 PM at Adorno Fathers 575 Darlington Ave., Ramsey, NJ
Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary’s Oktoberfest to be held on Saturday, October 29, 2016, 2-6:00 PM at Adorno Fathers 575 Darlington Ave., Ramsey, NJ. Feel free to forward the attached flyer to family, friends, colleagues or anyone you think might be interested in having a fun filled afternoon!
Tickets are $25.00 per person and must be purchased in advanced. You can mail ticket request and payment to Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary, PO Box 39, Ramsey, NJ 07446.

BH/R Rotary Club sponsors local students at RYLA leadership camp

The Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club sponsored four local high school students as participants in Rotary International’s RYLA program this summer. Evan Bonfield (Mahwah), Katie Hallak (Mahwah), Valerie Ervin (Mahwah) and Madison Royle (Ramsey) attended this year’s leadership course at New Jersey City University in Jersey City.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Award, or RYLA, is a program sponsored by local Rotary clubs for students entering their senior year of high school in September. 2016 RYLA participants attended an all-expense paid, four-day workshop focusing on leadership and professional development topics. They joined other talented young people sponsored by Rotary Clubs throughout northern New Jersey.

The object of RYLA is to demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth, to publicly recognize and nurture the high qualities of the many young people who are rendering service to their communities, to stimulate and cultivate leadership potential in youth, and to provide a meaningful leadership training experience through such programs as sports, group discussion, guest speakers and career guidance.

L to r: 2016 RYLA participants Valerie Ervin and Madison Royle reported on their leadership camp experience at a recent meeting of the Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club.

Photo courtesy of BH/R Rotary Club.

Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club awards scholarships to local students

The Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 John Royle Rotary Scholarships for local students.

The scholarships are awarded annually to graduating seniors who are going on to higher education and who reside in the area served by the Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club (Allendale, Mahwah, Ramsey, Saddle River and Upper Saddle River). They are based on need, ability and contributions to school and community. The scholarships consist of $1,250 at the beginning of each recipient’s freshman year and another $1,250 at the beginning of the sophomore year.

L to r: Rotarian Pete Simpson; BH/R Rotary Club scholarship winners Robert Sartori of Ramsey (Ramapo College), Ceara Woelfel of Mahwah (Elizabethtown), and Michael Carrecia of Ramsey (Endicott College); and BH/R Rotary scholarship chair John Royle.

Scholarship winners not pictured: Nicholas Venturini of Ramsey (University of Virginia), Fallon Kelley of Mahwah (University of South Carolina), Kevin Himber of Mahwah (Northeastern), William Strauch of Mahwah (Ramapo College), and James Ciliento of Mahwah (Bryant).

Photo courtesy of BH/R Rotary Club.

Rotary Invites All to Leonia Oktoberfest, October 1

The Rotary Club of the Palisades is happy to invite all to Oktoberfest at Leonia’s American Legion Hall on October 1, rain or shine, 4-11 pm. This is a celebration for both adults and children, with music, games, food and drink. Admission is $5 for adults, free for children. Rotary is proud to announce that Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc., housed in Leonia, is the grand sponsor of this event.

On that day, Leonia’s American Legion Hall will be magically transformed into Leonia’s “Biergarten.” The Oktoberfest celebration features delicious brats, burgers, chicken schnitzel, and other goodies. Beer on tap includes Hofbräu Original, Hofbräu Oktoberfest, Cricket Hill Fall Festivus Ale, Yuengling Oktoberfest, plus a light beer. Non-alcoholic drinks will also be available.

There will be games and other entertainment—including the ever-so-popular “beer stemmen” contests for both adults and children (the latter with root beer). Music provided by the Breitenbach Band, a three-piece band comprised of accordion, drums and trumpet (and all band members are singers) playing a fun take on traditional German tunes and modern songs. And there will be games of chance—a 50/50 raffle and a Tricky Tray with opportunities to win a variety of prizes.

All proceeds go to support the club’s Weekend Snack Pack for children in Edgewater and Leonia public schools. These Snack Packs provide nutritious food over the weekend for children who qualify for free or subsidized lunch at school during the week and whose parents confirm that they wish to receive this extra food assistance.

Rotary needs additional volunteers to help on October 1 as well as supporters to become official sponsors of the event or to donate raffle prizes and Tricky Tray items. Rotary has also set up a “gofundme” initiative to kickstart the event. For more information or to help out, go to

BH/R Rotary Club welcomes lemur expert Dr. Patricia Wright

The Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club ( recently welcomed Dr. Patricia Wright for an intriguing presentation on the lemurs of Madagascar.

Native only to the island of Madagascar and the neighboring Comoros Islands, lemurs resemble the oldest ancestors of primates which existed tens of millions of years ago. With a human population topping 14 million, the island’s natural ecosystems are becoming strained and Madagascar is faced with a diminishing rainforest habitat, home to so many unique forms of life. Efforts are underway to expand protected areas and bring much-needed money and awareness to the problem.

Dr. Patricia Wright is the Founder of Centre ValBio, a modern research campus in the rainforest of Madagascar. She is a Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University, and has devoted most of her professional life to working on Madagascar. For more than two decades, she has combined her research with efforts to preserve the country’s endangered forests and the many species of plants and animals they harbor.

In 1989, she became a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and in 1995 she was awarded the Chevalier d’ Ordre National (National Medal of Honor of Madagascar). In 2004 she was awarded the Officier d’ Ordre National from the President of Madagascar in recognition of her conservation work. Dr. Wright was the driving force behind the creation of Ranomafana National Park, a 106,000-acre World Heritage Site in southeastern Madagascar. The park is home to many endangered species, including several species of lemur that she almost certainly saved from extinction. For more information about Dr. Wright, including her blog and new book, please visit

L to r: Aaron lsaacson (Suffern), co-founder of the Madagascar Water Project; guest speaker Dr. Patricia Wright of the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments in Madagascar; and BH/R Rotary Club President Paul Scarduffa (Park Ridge) at a recent meeting of the Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club.