February 23 is the 110th anniversary of Rotary International. On this day in 1905, Rotary founder Paul Harris formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Since then, Rotary has continued its commitment to service by providing clean water, improving maternal health, awarding scholarships, fighting diseases, and improving lives around the world.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Rotary’s PolioPlus program. Since the fight to end polio began, 2 billion children have been immunized, 10 million children have been saved from lifelong paralysis and 125 countries have been declared polio-free. For more information about Rotary International and the PolioPlus program, contact your local Rotary Club.
For the past five years, Ridgewood Rotary Club has been supporting the 330 students of Kishermoruak Primary School in the Maasai Mara Reserve in southern Kenya. From the beginning, the pupils have received a nutritious hot lunch every school day. Several new classrooms have been constructed, a deep water well was brought into service and an Administration Building provides a Library and offices for the Head Teacher, and the Faculty.
Now the local Rotary Club is expanding its reach, offering 25 women in the community an opportunity to learn bee-keeping with the object of supplementing their family income through the sale of honey and other products such as candles and cosmetics. The three-year program is run by the British non-profit organization, Bees Abroad. This group already has five similar projects throughout Kenya, all well advanced to the stage where honey is packaged and sold locally to stores or individual customers. In addition to the Bees Abroad staff, administration of the program is in the hands of Mercy Mburu, a local woman responsible for Ridgewood Rotary projects. In particular she orders and buys the lunch food, administers the dozen scholarships the Rotary Club has set up for graduates of Kishermoruak School, and interacts with the school’s Parents Council when major projects call for cooperation and contributions (in kind) from the pupils’ families.
According to Jerry Kallman, Chairman of the Kenya School Project, all of the club’s activities in Kenya are made possible by donations to the Ridgewood Rotary Club Foundation. The club was especially proud to announce that its first high school scholarship student, Kevin Letuolo had completed secondary school and was enrolled in Kenya University, the first member of his family and local village to attain such a distinction.
For over twenty years, Michele Hart-Loughin, Susin Christador, and John McCarthy have been feeding the hungry a holiday feast during the week between Christmas and New Years.
With the assistance of local charitable organizations, the holiday luncheon has continued to grow. Yesterday, more than 250 people in need were provided with a hot meal, a hat and scarf, and a to-go container with a second helping.
Hosting this annual event is no small feat. Many volunteers and organizations contribute to its success. Judy Banes of the On Our Own self help center (179 Main Street) spreads the word to those in need. The Christ Church donates the use of their hall and kitchen. The Hackensack Rotary sponsors the event through the donation of the turkeys and vegetables. The Hackensack Golf Club donates hams. Michele, Susin, and John prepare the meals and coordinate the event with the assistance of the Hackensack Rotarians and their families.
Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.
Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to call 201-490-6285 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hackensack Rotary Club was joined by the Maywood Rotary Club at their holiday luncheon on December 18th at Rudy’s Restaurant on Anderson Street Hackensack. In keeping with tradition, a special Thank You to the Hackensack High School Choir, who stopped by to perform a variety of holiday medleys and helped get everyone in the holiday spirit. Listening to these wonderfully talented students has become an annual tradition and is truly enjoyed by everyone.
Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.
More than 330 volunteers from 22 District 7490 Rotary Clubs and five Interact Clubs, plus other volunteers representing 32 community organizations and schools joined together on Martin Luther King Day, January 20 at the Hope Community Center in Paterson to package more than 40,000 meals of rice and beans. The meals will go to CUMAC, the largest food pantry in Passaic County, with some going to Rotary District 7490’s Military Family Assistance Center in Paterson. Volunteers also brought with them more than a ton of food for the food pantry. Rotary worked in collaboration with Outreach, Inc.-Kids Care, as well as with CUMAC. Co-chairs for the event were PDG Dan Shiver, PDG Bonnie Sirower and Paterson Great Falls member and District Community Services Chair Irma Gorham. We raised more than $10,000 to pay for the meals, from 32 Rotary clubs, companies and individuals.