We meet Courtyard by Marriott - Friday at 12:15 PM
Courtyard by Marriott
100 Chestnut Ridge Road
Montvale , NJ 07645
Posted by George Sherman on Dec 09, 2013
At the December 9 Park Ridge Rotary meeting at The Courtyard by Marriott, Englewood’s Club President, Ikuyo Yanagistawa, PDG Raj Bhatia, and Northern Valley Past President Jim Boyer visited our club to describe their August visit to Japan. Traveling with a team of members from the 9.11 community, the Japanese Medical Society of America and Mount Sinai Global Health, they sought to bring hope to those affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant.
During their week-long stay, participants in the mission visited temporary shelters in 3 states, celebrated “Christmas in July”, and spoke with numerous individuals whose lives had been forever changed by the multiple disasters. Included also on their busy itinerary was a luncheon with the oldest Rotary Club of Sendai, chartered in 1937.
Theirs was the second mission to the region near Tohoku. A highly regarded mission in 2012 brought requests for a second visit. The emotional support provided on these occasions has proven to be especially helpful in enhancing the resilience and coping mechanisms of affected children.
Park Ridge Club members were given an opportunity to view many of the events that took place during the mission thanks to the effective Power Point presentation put together by Ikuyo, Raj and Jim. One of the most moving moments described the group’s visit to see the “Soaring Crane” in Koriyama. The origami crane, fabricated out of steel recovered from 9/11, had been delivered during the first mission in 2012. Presented at the time by The September 11th Families’ Association, this monument in the shape of a crane had been inspired by Sadako Sasaki who died at age 12 from radiation exposure after the bombing of Hiroshima. A children’s book entitled Message on a Wing has been published by the Koriyama West Rotary Club and was shared with club members. It tells the story of Sadako’s strength and courage as she battled radiation induced leukemia. Hundreds of copies have been donated by the Koriyama club to schools and libraries in Fukushima.
Posted by Brittany Vozza on Nov 23, 2013
On Thursday, November 21, Past District Governor Bonnie Sirower attended the Park Ridge Rotary Club's monthly cocktail hour meeting at The Cornerstone in Hillsdale to talk briefly about the upcoming District Conference and then more significantly about the District's disaster relief efforts.
Bonnie handed out the updated rates for the District Conference cruise to Bermuda and urged that members attend. If you are interested in going but you do not have anyone to go with contact Bonnie. There are a few people looking for roommates on the cruise.
Next, Bonnie spoke about last year’s regional weather disaster and commended Peter Wells on his hard work after SuperStorm Sandy. She was very proud and overwhelmed by the district’s response and the great amount of donations received.
Her current focus is on recent disasters in Indiana, Illinois, and in the Philippines. Tornadoes in the Midwest left hundreds without homes. In the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan has affected nearly 10 million people. More than 5,000 have lost their lives and more than 600,000 have been displaced from their homes. Bonnie attended the Disaster Relief USA meeting earlier this week and she said that all donations for the Philippines should be monetary to help rebuild the infrastructure. The current devastation has left them without places to accept goods.
With reference to the most recent tragedy in the Philippines, two affiliates of Rotary International, Shelter Box (http://www.shelterboxusa.org ) and Disaster Aid USA (http://www.disasteraidusa.com ) are currently on the ground providing assistance.
Desperately needed right now are Sawyer point water filters, SWAGS (Back pack bed), cooking utensils and shelter. Bonnie urged members to do whatever they can to support them.
Posted by George Sherman on Nov 16, 2013
On Friday, November 15, members welcomed District Governor Len Agrusti to our meeting at The Courtyard by Marriott in Montvale.
After a pre-meeting gathering with the club’s directors, Governor Len shared with the club a bit about his introduction to Rotary, his assessment of the Park Ridge club and objectives for his year as Governor of District 7490.
A graduate of Marquette University with a Masters Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson, Governor Len became a successful businessman who had the good fortune to be able to retire at a relatively young age. Upon retirement he committed himself to Rotary – the greatest international service organization in the world.
Whether it’s eradicating polio world -wide or providing assistance to a needy local family, Rotary is there. Governor Len commended the Park Ridge Club on all of the projects it has undertaken through the years to try to “make the world a better place”. As he reflected on his own club’s Christmas in July project which has been going on for many years, he proposed that a similar idea might be applied to a local Veterans’ Hospital.
Governor Len has several goals set for the District this Rotary year, many of which are well on their way to being accomplished. We must support the Annual Fund of the Rotary Foundation. This money is the life blood for all of the good that Rotary does. Growing membership is essential. Not only must we recruit more people, we must also retain them. To do so we must adapt to change, engage more young people and listen to the ideas of new members. Being a member of his home town First Aid Squad for decades, Governor Len is also determined to spread awareness of the American Heart Association approved Hands on CPR to members throughout the District. Those trained in the technique are able to keep the blood flowing in a victim of sudden cardiac arrest until medical help arrives.
With reference to the most recent tragedy in the Philippines, Governor Len noted that two affiliates of Rotary International, Shelter Box (http://www.shelterboxusa.org ) and Disaster Aid USA (http://www.disasteraidusa.com ) are currently on the ground providing assistance and urged members to do whatever they can to support them.
In summary, Governor Len referred to RI’s theme for 2013-14 – “Engage Rotary; Change Lives” – and suggested that by engaging change, Rotary will continue to live and thrive.
Posted by George Sherman on Nov 03, 2013
On Friday, November 1, members welcomed the long time Chairman of Rotary District 7490 Polio Plus Foundation Dr. Jim Cole to The Courtyard to get the latest update on RI’s continuing effort to eradicate polio throughout the world. Last month Jim took part in an immunization mission in the African nation of Togo where he helped provide precious drops of preventive medicine to dozens of young children.
In his presentation Dr. Cole talked of the nature of polio, the history behind the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines and the quarter century effort on the part of Rotary International in alliance with the World Health Organization to eliminate the disease once and for all.
Since 1985, Rotary has contributed nearly US$1.2 billion to the protection of more than two billion children. From the time when 2500 new cases of polio were occurring each day, the world has reached the point at which fewer than 300 new cases are reported each year! For as little as 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.
Determined to deliver a polio-free world in the next 5 years, world leaders have put into play The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018. In 2007, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave The Rotary Foundation a $100 million challenge grant for polio eradication, and in 2009, increased it to $355 million. Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funds by 30 June 2012, but Rotarians in fact raised $228.7 million toward the challenge. At this year's Rotary International Convention in Lisbon the Gates Foundation has presented Rotary with another 2 for 1 matching grant challenge to finish the job.
Learn more about the fight against polio by visiting http://www.endpolio.org
Posted by Brittany Vozza on Oct 25, 2013
At the Park Ridge Rotary Club's first official "Happy Hour" held at 5:30 Thursday, October 24 at the Cornerstone in Hillsdale, members welcomed guest speaker Bob Stickel of LifeSavers, Inc., a company that provides emergency medical response products and training to businesses, the public sector, and other organizations nationwide. Established in 1992, LifeSavers works closely with its customers to design, implement and continually assess safety and emergency response programs.
Bob is the President of LifeSavers, Inc. (http://www.lifesaversinc.com) and has more than 18 years of experience as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and 20 years of experience as an American Heart Association instructor and trainer.
LifeSavers Inc. is dedicated to raising awareness about cardiac arrest and the amount of lives that can be saved if AED’s are available in schools, parks, businesses and eventually in people’s homes along with more people going through training for CPR. Bob explained that the response time from when a person goes into cardiac arrest to when they receive CPR and AED shock determines the overall outcome of the patient and the level of damage that is done. He said every minute that goes by before CPR is started, the person's chances go down 10% for a full recovery.
Onsite training is available for groups of 8 or more for businesses. To learn more about the Difibtech Lifeline AED please visit http://youtu.be/cV2ONBK9cHg
Posted by George Sherman on Oct 18, 2013
On Friday, October 18, members welcomed Susan Noyes, a board certified Holistic Health Coach, who spoke on the topic “Be the Best Version of You at Any Age”.
Confronted with major family health problems several years ago, Ms. Noyes committed herself to teaching others how to follow a healthy life-style. In addition to her work with private clients, Susan is a Certified Independent Health Coach for “Take Shape for Life”, a comprehensive weight loss and lifestyle program.
In her words, “Wellness is a journey, not a destination”. Everything works better for you when you are at a healthy weight. To lose weight, Susan is an advocate of eating 5 or 6 small meals a day rather than 3 large ones and moving whenever you can move. Exercise is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle.
Oxidation, inflammation and toxins are the great enemies of good health. To minimize the negative effects of these, add in positive behaviors. Susan suggested that members rely more on plant based nutrition, use natural products, and take measures to counteract stress in order to live a longer, healthier life.
To learn more of Susan’s work, visit her website: http://www.stillwater-nutrition.com
Posted by George Sherman on Oct 06, 2013
On Friday, October 4, Park Ridge Rotary Club members welcomed Bergen County Clerk, John Hogan to their meeting at the Courtyard. After explaining a bit about his background, Mr. Hogan described for the club the workings of his office.
The County Clerk is one of three constitutional officers elected by the voters of Bergen County.
The County Clerk's responsibilities include the recording, filing and maintenance of many public records including those effecting property and business ownership.
In addition, the County Clerk's office keeps Naturalization Records, processes Passport applications, Notary Public Oaths, Veteran’s ID Cards and is responsible for one third of the Election process along with the Superintendent of Elections and the Board of Elections.
The County Clerk is historically known as the "keeper of records" and is one of the oldest offices in the State of NJ. Many records in the Bergen County Clerk's office are over 300 years old.
- Will you be requesting a "Mail-In" Ballot for an election?
- Do you need a copy of the deed to your home?
- Are you searching for a title for your home?
- Do you want to become a notary?
- Will you be traveling outside the United States any time soon and need a passport?
- Are you starting your own business?
If your answer to any of the questions posed above is yes, then the Bergen County Clerk’s Office can help. Their comprehensive website serves as a portal to any resource you may need related to the filing and searching of Bergen County records.
Residents of Bergen County are fortunate to have an incredible number and variety of services available to them through the Clerk’s Office in Hackensack. Learn more about them by visiting http://www.bergencountyclerk.org.
Posted by George Sherman on Sep 28, 2013
Members welcomed PDG Joe Laureni to their luncheon meeting at The Courtyard by Marriott on Friday, September 27. Gift of Life was the topic of the day as Joe filled us in on the origins of the program and the impact it has had on so many.
Though not an official program of RI, Gift of Life represents the spirit of Rotary by providing life saving heart surgery to children with congenital heart defects. First started in 1974 on Long Island, the idea was introduced to District 7490 by DGN Art Scialla in 1985. Our Park Ridge club under the leadership of Club President Don Terrace was the first in the District to sponsor a Gift of Life child brought here from the Dominican Republic. Since then, the District has sponsored nearly 900 children from all over the world and in 2011 we were pleased to be able to sponsor 5 year old Noreen from the Philippines.
Today there are about 50 Rotary Districts with Gift of Life programs. Together they have been responsible for over 15,000 life saving surgeries.
In more recent years it has been found that medical missions to developing countries can result in more surgeries being done less expensively over relatively short periods of time. Sponsoring a child for surgery in the U.S. costs $6,000.00 while surgeries can be completed in a child’s native country for half that amount. This Rotary year, missions have already been to Uganda, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua with the District’s tenth mission slated to go to the Philippines in November.
Children who come to the United States with heart defects are usually referred by physicians or participating groups in their home country to Rotarians of Rotary District 7490 Gift of Life Foundation who forward their medical information to participating hospitals. Doctors and hospitals receive the nominal fee of $6,000 for the valuable services they render. After cases are approved for surgery by attending physicians, they are assigned to local Rotary Clubs, Interact Clubs or auxiliary organizations. They in turn provide any additional funds for medical care (prescriptions, etc.) and host the child with a parent while they are in this country. The monies needed to finance the program are raised by the Foundation, individual Rotary Clubs, or other individuals and organizations.
One does not have to be a member of a Rotary club to participate in Gift of Life. The District’s Gift of Life Committee is always looking for hosts and translators for the children and funds are always needed for medical services, equipment, educational services and transportation.
Posted by George Sherman on Sep 21, 2013
Westwood Rotary Club President Susan Thielemann visited the Park Ridge Club on Friday, September 20 to share with members a topic which has become a passion for her and a signature program of the Westwood Club. Since accepting the position of chairperson of the District’s CPR Anytime program in July, she has been been providing training to groups throughout the area on the need to learn CPR so that more lives may be saved.
District Governor Len Agrusti has made CPR training a major goal of his administration during 2013-14, and, to that end, has provided all 55 clubs in the District with American Heart Association materials that will teach the process.
Susan explained that a person’s chances of survival after sudden cardiac arrest can be more than doubled if Hands-on CPR is initiated within seconds of the attack occurring. Quick action will keep the blood flowing until trained medical help arrives.
The American Heart Association recommends taking two simple steps to save a life: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, become unresponsive and stop breathing call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song "Stayin' Alive." The sooner this can be started the better since a person’s brain can survive for up to 6 minutes after the heart stops beating.
Groups interested in receiving CPR training are encouraged to contact the Westwood Club at http://www.westwoodrotarynj.com/family-and-friends-cpr-anytime.html.
Posted by George Sherman on Sep 08, 2013
by George Sherman
On Friday, September 6, the Park Ridge Rotary Club was happy to welcome back Mr. Alan Krutchkoff, founder and CEO of Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon, Inc. Since first visiting with us three years ago, the organization has grown significantly, sending care packages to deployed military units wherever and whenever the need may arise.
Started in 2003, this special group of volunteers has worked tirelessly to improve the morale of soldiers in service to our country by regularly supplying them with DVDs, books, food, snacks, personal care items, sports equipment and much more. All this is done with great efficiency as over 95 cents of every dollar raised is used to support our military men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us safe and secure.
On October 10, AaSP will be holding its biggest fund-raiser to date – A Salute to American Heroes – a gala being held in Belleville with all proceeds going to Operation Compact Care for the benefit of wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
This space is far too limited to describe all the good work being done by AaSP. The reader is encouraged to read the speech given by Congressman Steven Rothman in this Sept. 19, 2007 issue of the Congressional Record: http://www.adoptasoldierplatoon.org/images/Adopt-A-Soldier.pdf.
Additional information can be found at the comprehensive AaSP website - http://adoptasoldierplatoon.org/home.html or by visiting their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adopt-a-Soldier-Platoon/101333404629
Posted by George Sherman on Jul 29, 2013
Posted by George Sherman on Aug 02, 2013
The Park Ridge Rotary Club's August 2nd meeting featured the presentation of our final scholarship for school year 2012-13 to Park Ridge High School graduate, Jonathan Hodgins. Jonathan’s outstanding academic achievements, excellent recommendations, and countless hours of community service made his selection as one of our honorees inevitable.
Recipient of the school’s Random Act of Kindness Award, Tri-Varsity Athlete Award, and Bergen County Soccer Coaches’ Unsung Hero Award, Jon has been an umpire in the Park Ridge Baseball Program for several years and for the last 2 years has served as a Site Director for the Bergen County Charity Baseball Classic (http://memorialbenefit.org) Jon is a graduate of the American Legion’s Boys’ State program, volunteered with the Bassmaster Fishing Outing for the Disabled, and with the Operation Grad 5K. In addition, he works part-time in his parents’ store and serves as a busboy at Woodcliff Manor. With all of this, he managed to be named to the National Honor Society, maintaining a 93.72 GPA while taking 3 AP courses and Physics Honors during his senior year.
Next month, Jonathan will begin pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business at the University of Delaware where he hopes to become involved in some type of service oriented international exchange program. The club is enormously pleased to be able to present him with one of this year’s scholarships.
Posted by George Sherman on Jul 27, 2013
On Friday, July 26, the Park Ridge Rotary Club was honored to welcome Mr. Y. S. Yoo as their guest speaker.
After a successful business career, Mr. Yoo served for many years at the highest levels of the U. S. government, most recently as special advisor to the President of Cote D’Ivoire between 2003-11. In 1991-2 he was Special Envoy of President George H.W. Bush to North Korean leader Kim Il Sung.
Mr. Yoo is also a long-time Rotarian who, in 1999, was awarded RI’s Service Above Self Award for his work on behalf of the Gift of Life Foundation. After hearing his talk, it was not hard to understand the reasons for which he was given this prestigious award.
A successful businessman, Mr. Yoo became a Rotarian in 1973. Named to the NJ Economic Master Plan Committee in 1994, he chaired the International Trade Sub-Committee of that group and brought multiple businesses and thousands of jobs to New Jersey. Throughout his career he has put that business acumen to work in building up thriving Gift of Life programs in Korea and in several nations in Africa. Overall his determination to make the world a better place by engaging leaders at the highest levels of government and business has served as a great inspiration to all.
Posted by George Sherman on Jul 22, 2013
The guest speaker at the July 19 Rotary Club meeting was a familiar figure to everyone who regularly attends our gatherings at The Courtyard. Joe Franzetti, when not working here, is a volunteer fire-fighter for the Woodcliff Lake Fire Department. Today he came equipped with many of the implements he and his fellow volunteers are trained to use in their work. In his talk, Joe described in detail the challenges involved in training and serving with the fire department.
Since 1933 The Woodcliff Lake Volunteer Fire Department has been responsible for providing fire protection, rescue service and other emergency assistance for the borough. The training required is arduous and thorough. For the past several years now, service in the fire department has been open to women as well as to men. The service these individuals provide to their communities is far beyond that offered by most, as they willingly risk their own safety every day to protect others in need.
Club members and all who benefit from the service of these devoted volunteers greatly appreciate all that they do.
Posted by George Sherman on Jul 13, 2013
At the July 12 meeting of the Park Ridge Rotary Club, Vice President Vlad Zherenovsky called to the podium Linda Hanlon, Chairwoman of our Scholarship Committee, to present scholarships to this year’s recipients. Before issuing the checks, Linda spoke of the remarkable achievements of this group of high school graduates. Though we are grateful to be able to provide them with some money, their stellar academic records and devotion to community service are worthy of far greater sums. The club is exceedingly proud of these young people, confident that they will go on to become highly successful in whatever field of endeavor they may choose to follow. Listed below are the students, the colleges they will be attending and their projected majors:
Marie Confreda Bucknell Engineering
Craig Lombardo Lafayette Computer Engineering
Marisa Origoni Sacred Heart (CN) Nursing
Chloe Verducci Mt. Holyoke Cognitive Neuroscience
Alexandra Lucanie Seton Hall Physician Assistant
Christine Villano Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Elementary Education
Kaitlyn Mital Sacred Heart Exercise Science
Dan Morgan James Madison Math Education
Encouraging the students to follow their dreams and to commit themselves to service to others, Linda and Vlad spoke for all in wishing the students well.
Posted by George Sherman on Jul 02, 2013
On Thursday, June 27, the Park Ridge Rotary installed Bob Bustard as the club’s president for 2013-14. The ceremony was a casual Garden Party held at the home of Bob and Rosemary Bustard in River Vale. Club member Ray Falcon, 2012-13 District Chief of Staff, served as Master of Ceremonies before a group of about 40 members, family and friends.
After Sargeant at Arms, Peter Wells pronounced the invocation, outgoing President Joeen Ciannella proudly reviewed the events of the past year, thanking one and all for the support she had received. Much had been accomplished. The club has expanded by 5 members; over $2000.00 in goods and gift cards had been raised for the Park Ridge Food Pantry; our annual fruit sale brought in over $3,500.00; the sale of Lord and Taylor tickets raised an additional $1,200.00; over 350 dictionaries had been distributed to 3rd graders in Montvale, Park Ridge, and Woodcliff Lake; the annual holiday party brought food, entertainment and small gifts to the residents of Lehmann Gardens; club members played an active role in supporting the District’s efforts on behalf of the victims of Superstorm Sandy; seven high school juniors were provided with a week-long RYLA experience; Robert Thorwarth was honored with the Dr. Stewart Alexander Memorial Scholarship; 9 high school seniors were provided with scholarships totaling $7,000.00. All in all, it had been a very busy and rewarding year, and one that President Joeen will always treasure.
Next, Jan Doornbosch did the honors of dismissing the 2012-13officers and directors from their duties and proceeded to install the incoming officers and directors, reminding them of the great responsibility they were assuming and encouraging them to make the most of the great opportunities that lay ahead. Officers for 2013-14 are: Bob Bustard – President; Patrick Little – President-elect; Vlad Zherenovsky – Vice President; Philip Wells – Secretary; Patricia DiRosa – Treasurer; Steven Hopper – Sgt. At Arms; Joeen Ciannella - Immediate Past President.
After pins were presented to the incoming officers by District AG, Dr. Stuart Gold, Past-President Joeen announced that George Sherman was being awarded this year’s Walter D. Head Award. Stu Gold was then called upon to present a special Paul Harris recognition to Peter Wells for the incredible work he had done in coordinating the District’s Disaster Relief efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Once the awards had been presented, President Bob Bustard spoke briefly about his hopes and goals for the coming year. Thanking the club for the honor of allowing him to serve as our president, he reminded us that he is counting on everyone to help increase the number of members we have in the club. More members will allow us to do more good and to raise more money for the benefit of more people. He called to mind the example set by the late Bill Swales who introduced Rotary to the guests he brought to club meetings seemingly every week. Bob closed out his talk and the program by promising that he would do all in his power to make the coming Rotary year productive and fun for all.
Posted by George Sherman on Jun 23, 2013
For several months the club has eagerly anticipated the opportunity to dedicate a sundial and plaque in the Rotary Garden of Wood Dale Park to long-time member and creator of the garden, Herb Jacobsen. On Friday, June 21, the opportunity finally presented itself.
On this beautiful first day of summer, President Joeen concluded her year as club President in a most meaningful way. After a picnic lunch, club members walked along the path surrounding the lake to the garden so beautifully planted and lovingly maintained by Herb and son Pete for decades. Herb, who is now 101 years of age, sat quietly as several members called to mind several of the countless contributions Herb had made to the Park Ridge Club and to the surrounding communities in his many years of service.
“Service Above Self” is Rotary’s motto and, as became obvious from the remarks made by fellow Rotarians, no one has personified that motto more than Herb. His consistently upbeat demeanor, zest for life and concern for others are traits that all would do well to emulate.
The sundial which has been placed in Herb’s Garden is accompanied by an engraved bronze plaque. It reads, “Park Ridge Rotary Club Honors Herb Jacobsen 100 Years Living & Service”. It is a well deserved tribute to a fine gentleman who set a wonderful example for us all.
Posted by George Sherman on Jun 18, 2013
All three hundred tickets had been sold to our annual 50/50 Cash Raffle and Friday, June 14 was the day to find out who won. The reverse draw went off without a hitch.
Community support of this, our major fundraiser makes such a big difference in the lives of so many. Every dollar really counts towards helping those in need.
The proceeds from the Cash Raffle help to provide college scholarships for local students, leadership training for our high school students through RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), and encouragement for our youth from middle school through high school to engage in community service through Interact.
Every dollar raised goes directly back to helping others!
During the past Rotary year, which began last July 1, funds provided by our generous donors helped many local charities and organizations which in turn help others in need. During our Annual Food Drive for the Pascack Food Center, we raised over $2,000 in cash and donations within a 4 hour window at the local A&P. In the aftermath of SuperStorm Sandy, the Park Ridge Rotary led and participated in helping many families and local communities get back on their feet. The money that has been raised also goes to such worthwhile International Projects as providing life-saving heart operations to children who otherwise could not afford them, and contributing to the continuing effort to finally eradicate polio from the world.
The club would like to thank everyone involved for their contributions throughout this year and especially to those who took part in our 50/50 Cash Raffle. Congratulations and best wishes to this year’s winners, P. LaCorte, C. Roeser, and G. Hunt.
For more information about the Park Ridge Rotary Club, please visit our website at: www.ParkRidgeRotaryClub.org.
Posted by George Sherman on Jun 09, 2013
At the June 6 meeting of the Park Ridge Rotary Club, President Joeen Ciannella called upon Bernie Cohen to introduce the evening's program. In his introduction, Bernie recalled the circumstances surrounding the creation of the Stewart Alexander Scholarship over 20 years ago. Dr. Alexander was a talented, courageous and brilliant physician who had been a long time member of the Park Ridge Club. During his years at the former Pascack Valley Hospital, he and the club's guest speaker Dr. Nevins, had begun a 6 week medical internship program which was designed to provide college students with an inside look at the workings of a medical facility and the life of a doctor, before they applied to medical school.
This year, the club was pleased to present the Dr. Stewart Alexander Memorial Scholarship Award to Montvale resident and Pascack Hills High School graduate, Robert Thorwarth, M.D.
Before presenting the scholarship, Bernie first shared a letter from Linda Hanlon who wrote movingly about the role Dr. Alexander had played in her professional as well as her Rotary life. For those who may not know, Linda was the first female member in the Park Ridge Rotary Club, having been sponsored by her friend and mentor, Dr. Alexander.
Bernie then explained that he and fellow Rotarian Don Ruschman had been determined in 1992 to establish a scholarship in memory of Dr. Alexander who had died the year before. Reviewing the lifetime achievements of this outstanding gentleman, Bernie described Dr. Alexander's exploits during World War Two at Bari, Italy for which he was ultimately awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. His top-secret wartime research and reporting eventually led to groundbreaking work in the field of chemo-therapy.
Next to speak was Dr. Michael Nevins, retired Medical Director of Long Term Care at Bergen Regional Medical Center, who talked about the origin of Pascack Valley Hospital's medical internship program in which Dr. Thorwarth participated. Through the program, potential doctors were afforded the opportunity to shadow staff physicians and complete a mini-curriculum. Of those who went through the program, 90 % eventually became doctors.
Dr. Thorwarth was then called to the podium to receive his well deserved award. A long time resident of Montvale, Robert graduated from Pascack Hills High School. While there, he began what became a 7 year relationship with the Tri-Boro Ambulance Corps as an EMT. After receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia, Robert went on to a highly successful four years at Georgetown University Medical School graduating cum laude and being elected to the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society. Having now completed his internship in internal medicine at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C. , Robert is about to begin his Residency in Anesthesiology and Critical Care at Johns Hopkins University. We wish him the best of luck in the years ahead, confident of his success, and hopeful that he will maintain his connections with the Park Ridge Rotary Club.
Posted by George Sherman
There's LOTS going on with the Park Ridge Rotary Club as President Joeen prepares to hand the gavel to President-elect Bob Bustard on July 1.
FRIDAY, MAY 31 - Join in the fun beginning at 5:00 as members make a return visit to Defiant Brewing Company (http://defiantbrewing.com) ,6 East Dexter Plaza, Pearl River, NY for a meet and greet. While enjoying a couple of brews and some fabulous ribs, pick up a few raffle tickets for the 7/12/2013 Yankee game vs. Minnesota Twins. Tickets are $2.00 apiece or 3 for $5.00 with the winner being announced at the conclusion of MONTVALE DAY being held Sunday, June 2 on Paragon Drive in Montvale.
President-elect Bob reminds all members that the club will have a booth at this function. It will be held along the length of Paragon Drive in Montvale between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Please let him know when you are available to man the booth to help sell these great raffle tickets. He will organize a schedule from your responses. Set up begins at 8.
Also at our Rotary table on Paragon Drive this Sunday will be a Save the Date Flyer announcing the Park Ridge Rotary Club/Halfway Hounds 5K Run/Walk being conducted on Sunday, Sept 22. Registration will be at 9 a.m. that day with the race starting at 10. Online registration is going to be on www.Bestrace.com. The on line registration fee is only $25 while day of race registration will be $35. This promises to be a HUGE event and a great fund-raiser for both Halfway Hounds (http://www.halfwayhounds.org/halfwayhounds )and our club. More information will follow as we get closer to the date of the event.
Posted by George Sherman on May 05, 2013
As the scheduled guest speaker for the May 3 meeting had to cancel at the last minute, Past President and District AG Stuart Gold was gracious enough to step in and use the time to describe for club members the workings of RI’s Council on Legislation.
The Council on Legislation, Rotary's "parliament," meets every three years to deliberate and act upon all proposed enactments and resolutions submitted by clubs, district conferences, the General Council and Conference of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, and the RI Board. The Council itself also makes proposals.
The Council on Legislation is an important part of Rotary's governance process. While the Board of Directors sets policies for Rotary International, the Council is where Rotary clubs have their say in the governance of the association. Every three years, each district sends a representative to the Council, which reviews proposed legislation. Every club and district is entitled to submit legislation to the Council, and some of Rotary’s most important work has resulted from Council action. Women were admitted into Rotary because of the action of the 1989 Council on Legislation, and PolioPlus was born as the result of the 1986 Council.
The Council is comprised of more than 500 representatives from every part of the Rotary world. Voting members include one elected representative of the clubs of each Rotary district. Some nonvoting members include the chair and vice chair of the Council, the RI president, members of the RI Board, and past RI presidents.
Clubs and districts are entitled to submit legislation to the Council on Legislation. There are two types of legislation: enactments, which seek to change the constitutional documents (the RI Constitution, the RI Bylaws, and the Standard Rotary Club Constitution), and resolutions, which do not seek to change the constitutional documents.
During the week of April 21 through April 26, representatives from Rotary’s 532 districts met in downtown Chicago to consider more than 170 enactments and resolutions proposed by Rotary clubs, districts, or the RI Board. In the process they approved a number of measures designed to strengthen Rotary, increase membership, and enhance the organization’s capacity to serve. Among the changes adopted this year were proposals to remove limits on e-clubs, permit satellite clubs, increase per capita dues by $1.00 per year, and to change the name of the fifth Avenue of Service to “Youth Service.”
If you would like to read more about the Council’s deliberations, here is a link to RI’s report on the highlights: http://www.rotary.org/en/MediaAndNews/News/Pages/130430_news_councilwrap.aspx
Posted by George Sherman on Apr 27, 2013
On Friday, April 26, the club was pleased to welcome as our guest speaker, Mr. Chad Melton, CEO of Hackensack University Medical Center at Pascack Valley.
Mr. Melton began his talk by noting that in 36 days, our long-awaited hospital will be open for business. All services begin June 1. There will be no phase in.
Throughout his talk, Mr. Melton emphasized that HUMC-PV is all about patient centered care and service excellence. All 128 beds will be in private rooms. In room computers will allow nurses to spend less time at central stations and more time with patients. Another patient friendly service will allow patients to order meals at any time of day for delivery to their rooms.
In addition to providing comprehensive health care, the facility promises to be a welcome addition to the economy of the Pascack Valley as well. Whereas the old Pascack Valley Hospital had a staff of about 250, HUMC-PV expects to fill nearly 600 positions. Four hundred employees already have been hired. Furthermore, the hospital will become one of the largest taxpayers in the region, paying taxes of roughly $2 million a year to Westwood and Washington Township.
In introducing HUMC-PV to the community, a 30 minute video has been produced by WCTV in Washington Township and uploaded to You Tube. Get a first hand view of the hospital here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fzsjA-7IUc or plan on attending Community Day on Saturday, May 18 between 11:00 and 3:00 for a walk through.
Club members were greatly impressed with all that they heard and eagerly await the June 1 opening.
Posted by George Sherman on Apr 22, 2013
Friday, April 19 was a special day for Park Ridge Rotarians as they celebrated the first Club Picture in 5 years with the induction of their newest member, Mrs. Kelley O’Donnell, Municipal Clerk/Administrator of Park Ridge and a one-time recipient of a Park Ridge Rotary Club Scholarship. Kelley, who is a graduate of Park Ridge High School, now resides with her family in Washington Township. Before becoming Borough Clerk 6 years ago, she served for several years in the Tax Assessor’s Office in Tenafly. President Joeen called upon Peter Wells to say a few words about the meaning of Rotary membership before performing the actual induction ceremony.
Peter reaffirmed how special an organization Rotary is, being both non-political and non-religious, while having strong moral underpinnings. Members participate with no agenda other than to make a positive difference in the lives of others by putting “Service Above Self”. High ethical standards have been part of RI since its inception 108 years ago and have allowed the organization and individual Rotarians to be trusted and respected in widely divergent cultures and societies throughout the world.
Making reference to the monthly Rotarian magazine, Peter made note RI’s Code of Conduct and Avenues of Service in reminding us of what a privilege it is to be a part of this 1.2 million member international organization.
President Joeen and Peter then presented Kelley with her pin and new member materials as the rest of the club enthusiastically welcomed their 40th member.
Posted by George Sherman on Apr 12, 2013
On Thursday evening, April 11, Alicia Sansarricq, Youth Exchange Chairperson for RI District 7490 was introduced to club members and guests. In her talk, Alicia described both the Long Term and Short Term Youth Exchange programs that have been a part of RI since 1929. Every year, 8,000 high school students from around the world ages 15 to 18 participate in exchanges to over 100 countries courtesy of Rotary International. As the world becomes a smaller and smaller place, the value of such exchanges becomes increasingly important. Successful applicants rank in the top 25% of their class, have excellent study habits, are stellar citizens of their community and can become fine ambassadors for their country.
The sponsoring Rotary Club's responsibility is to sign up host families (they do NOT have to be Rotarians), and a budget of $2,000. Rotary encourages each student to reside with three families. This gives the student a better perspective of life in America and gives more families an opportunity to learn about another culture.
Host family responsibilities for a long term student aren't much different from their responsibilities for their own kids: provide a comfortable and nurturing home environment; have the student share a bedroom with not more than one person (must be the same gender); treat the student like one of their own, provide 3 meals a day, emotional support, a place to study and helping the student study if needed; provide transportation to and from all school activities.
It's important to realize that while in the US, the Inbound students are Rotary's kids and Rotary's responsibility. All Club members should participate in entertaining them and making them part of the community. Each student and their parents sign an extensive set of behavior commitments which include the four "D"s: No Drinking, No Driving, No Dating, No Drugs. Each student has a return ticket which can be activated within 24 hours for either a family emergency or unacceptable behavior.
Tonight, the club was fortunate to have as its guests, two of this year’s Youth Exchange students – Emilie Henrard and Mateus Laurino. Emilie, who was born and raised in Belgium, has long wanted to visit the United States. She will be a part of River Dell’s graduating class in June and hopes to pursue a career in medicine. Mateus calls Sao Paolo, Brazil home. Originally housed with a family on Long Island, he was forced to relocate after Super Storm Sandy. Since then, he has been staying in Fair Lawn and will be part of their high school's graduating class.
Both students spoke glowingly of their experiences in the United States and expressed – in excellent English - their great appreciation for this opportunity to learn more about the people and culture of the U.S.
To learn more about Youth Exchange, visit http://www.rotary.org/en/studentsandyouth/youthprograms/rotaryyouthexchange/pages/ridefault.aspx
Posted by George Sherman on Apr 07, 2013
On Friday, April 5, Park Ridge Rotary Club members were happy to welcome to our meeting Teaneck Rotarian Paul Platek, this year’s Annual Giving Chairman for The Rotary Foundation in District 7490. Paul’s presentation was devoted to explaining the importance of giving to The Rotary Foundation, and to describing the manner by which our contributions are put to use.
Contributions to The Rotary Foundation enable Rotarians to carry out humanitarian and educational projects. Donors may direct their gifts to three main funds: the Annual Fund, which supports the Foundation’s humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs worldwide; the Endowment Fund; and the PolioPlus Fund.
The only Annual Fund designation that generates funding for the District Designated Fund is known as SHARE. Over a three year period, the amount of money donated within the District to The Rotary Foundation by the member clubs is calculated. In the fourth year, 50% of the donated money is returned to the District with 80% of that being set aside for District grants. The other 20% of the amount returned is used for Global Grants.
District grants fund smaller, short-term activities that address needs in both the local community and communities worldwide. Each district gets to choose which activities it will fund with these grants.
Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in one or more of the six areas of focus: Peace and conflict prevention/resolution; disease prevention and treatment; water and sanitation; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; economic and community development.
The Annual Fund makes it possible for Rotary clubs to transform lives worldwide. Your generous support funds local and international projects that advance The Rotary Foundation’s mission. Learn more by visiting http://www.rotary.org/en/Contribute/Funds/Pages/ridefault.aspx OR http://www.rotary.org/en/grants