Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Caldwell Rotary Supports United Way’s North Essex Camp Fund


Photo by Janet Markman
      From L to R: Caldwell Rotary President Jon Wohlgemuth, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Resource Development Associate and Thomas Daley, Relationship Manager of the United Way of Northern New Jersey.    

Thomas Daley, Relationship Manager and Elizabeth Rodriguez, Resource Development Associate of the United Way of Northern New Jersey, spoke at the Rotary Club of the Caldwells’ weekly meeting at the Cloverleaf Tavern on Tuesday, June 19.

Their presentation focused on the North Essex Camp Fund as well as other programs and services that the United Way of Northern New Jersey offers that address the specific needs of individuals and families. One of the more interesting services mentioned was the “2-1-1” help-line. Unlike the more familiar “9-1-1” number that people dial when there is an immediate emergency such as a fire or accident, the “2-1-1” number is a referral service that provides callers, from all walks of life, with a variety of options that address matters relating to social services and community resources (such as food, health issues, addictions, housing and rent, financial issues, transportation for the disabled or elderly).  In addition, callers can also report “suspicious activity” after being rediredted to Homeland Security’s TIPS hot-line. You can access the “2-1-1” resource by phone or online

Now in its 71th year, United Way’s North Essex Camp Fund has provided camp scholarships to thousands of needy children since 1941. Through the fund, children can benefit from a summer camp experience, participating in activities, such as swimming, hiking, nature exploration and arts-and-crafts.

These scholarships offer children with disabilities or from low-income families the opportunity to enjoy a week at a camp run by half-a-dozen United Way partner agencies. In addition, United Way is offering the Camp Counselors’ Club, which provides donors with the opportunity to sponsor a specific child for $250. Club donors will receive a personal thank you note from the child.

All donations go to fund scholarships; none are used to support United Way administrative costs.

To this end, the Rotary Club of The Caldwells presented Mr. Daley and Ms. Rodriguez with a check for $1,000 in support of the North Essex Camp Fund’s scholarships. 

Tax-deductible contribution can be sent to United Way North Essex Camp Fund, 60 S. Fullerton Ave., Montclair, N.J., 07042. For more information, or call (973) 746-4040 x201.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our thanks to Chirstina, Grover Cleveland Middle School

Imagine the delight of the members of the Rotary Club of the Caldwells when we received this beautiful letter from Christina in Miss MacDonald's middle school class!

Dear Rotary Club,

Hi! My name is Christina. I am writing to you because in school we are studying non-profit organizations. I chose your organization because you are an amazing help not only to The Caldwells but all over, like the Dominican Republic. You even help donate to anyone in need in our community. You have really done a lot of generous, great things that are helping our community and making it a better place. You put in a lot of work to make a huge difference in the world. Thank you so much.

I really admired that you went to the Dominican Republic, you helped them greatly by giving hearing aids so that they could hear. Hearing is very important. You really opened a new world for these people who needed help. You donated a lot of things to them also, and you really saved their lives a great deal by doing that.

Thank you so much for being such great people, you are such a huge help to many people. I am really inspired by what you set your minds to and make happen, today. You are a hero to me. Without you, I don't know where we would be. You really impact Caldwell and help us so much. You are a huge help to everyone. You are a hero.

Thank you so much for all the hard, great work that you do. You are a huge help! You have definitely made a difference!

Christine S

To Christine from all of us at Rotary,

Thank you for your beautiful and thoughtful letter. It made us all feel wonderful and means more than we can express to you.

At Rotary, we have a motto, "Service Above Self". It's a choice we can all make in our lives to make a difference. We can tell by your letter that you are an intelligent and compassionate young woman and our guess is that you are already making a big difference in people's lives. We know that you will continue to have a positive influence on your community and the world around you throughout your life.

One avenue you might consider when you get to High School is the Interact Club. It's a high school version of Rotary where you can meet wonderful friends and work on service projects together.

Thank you again for writing and for taking the time to learn more about Rotary. We can't wait until you're a member!

Yours in Service,
The members of The Rotary Club of the Caldwells

Monday, March 26, 2012

JVS Home Maintenance Solutions and Rotary of the Caldwells Announce Program to Help Local Seniors

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells has made a donation to Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest NJ (JVS) that will support home maintenance services and minor home modifications to individuals 60+ living in the Caldwells and Essex Fells.

The new Rotary Club program is based on the successful model developed by Caldwell LIVE (Lifelong Involvement for Vital Elders), a program to help older adults remain safely and independently in their own homes.

Caldwell LIVE was launched in 2008 with federal grant funding secured by United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ (UJC MetroWest). The program touched the lives of over 1,000 seniors in the Caldwell area before being transitioned to the community in January. Caldwell Rotary responded to local interest in continuing the much-needed home maintenance services with the donation to JVS.

Funding through the Caldwell Rotary will subsidize home safety modifications, such as the installation of grab bars and hand-held showers, that can help prevent falls in the home — a major safety risk for older adults. The service is available to individuals living in Caldwell, North Caldwell, West Caldwell, and Essex Fells. The initial home visit includes to a free safety assessment, the installation of a free grab bar, and up to three hours of home maintenance service. Residents will be asked to pay for additional materials.

Rachel Cohen, program manager of JVS At Home Services, observed that “many residents have been in the same home for several decades. While the people have changed physically over the years their homes have not been updated. We help older adults look at their homes with new eyes so that they can live in a safe, comfortable environment. And, for those just moving into the community, these services help them get off to the right start. We are grateful to Rotarian Bob Markman and the Rotary Club of the Caldwells for making this program accessible to the community.”

JVS, a partner agency of UJC MetroWest, holds a Home Improvement License through the State of New Jersey. Marty Moskowitz, JVS’s handyman, is an engineer by training and has over 30 years of experience in property management. Since coming to JVS, he has also received specialized training on how to work with older adults.

Caldwell residents who have used the service in the past have commented on how minor modifications have improved their quality of life and can make the difference between staying at home or moving to a residential facility. As one participant wrote in a thank you note, “We are very much safer because of the service you provide.”

For additional information or to request service, Caldwell area residents can call JVS Home Maintenance Solutions at (973) 674-6330, ext. 296 or e-mail

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gerry Valk

Gerry Valk was a humanitarian who passionately helped others: He was a true Rotarian. Gerry’s commitment to disadvantaged students at the Essex Valley School and advocacy for high school student scholarships is a but a small part of his legacy.

Rotarians remembered Gerry and expressed their sentiments. Gerry was

“a true gentlemen”, a “great man, a great person, a great guy”

“a class act”,

“a beautiful soul who enriched many lives through his acts of kindness and generosity”

“He epitomized humanitarianism.”

“A fine example of a Rotarian.”

Gerry was all of those and more. He made a difference; he improved the lives of others.

Gerry will be missed. Rest in peace.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Season of Giving

Many people think of this time of year as the season of giving. Of course, for Rotary Club of the Caldwells members, the season of giving lasts all year long. Members have given in so many important and life-changing ways over the years. The Nairator is too small to list all recent accomplishments and projects over the last 12-months, but they include:

 Sponsoring a GOL mission in the DR funded by a multi-year commitment and an awesome Talent Show.

 Funding a room in the Caldwell College Autism Behavioral Center.

 Building a playground for young children in Caldwell.

 Completing the refurbishment of a North Caldwell field house facility.

 Furnishing a boat shed to Camp Merry Heart in addition to $3,000 for camperships.

 Awarding approximately $11,000 for scholarships awarded to HS students.

 Donating $7,000 to the Rotary Foundation.

 Pledging $6000 (and a laptop) to needy families through the Caldwell Human Ser-vices Department.

 Funding & Supporting Dominican Republic projects under Mike’s direction.

 Supporting Help The Children Hear.

 Putting on a Street Fair that has become part of the culture of Caldwell.

 Accomplishing too many smaller, impactful projects to mention.

RCC members are special, giving people who have obviously worked hard during this extended season of giving. Heart-felt comments during the recent special meeting held by President Jon captured the essence of this club; the comments demonstrated why membership in the RCC is, in and of itself, a gift.

In some ways, the RCC is reminiscent of dominant sports teams with “teammates” who work together to accomplish extraordinary things. Focusing on common objectives and working together is the key to continued success.

Looking forward, the sky is the limit in the upcoming and ongoing “season of giving.”

by Rotarian Tom Cocchiola

Monday, November 21, 2011

O Negative blood needed for local 4th grader!

One of our North Caldwell Gould School 4th graders is battling a brain tumor and just finishing up his second round of treatment. During these chemotherapy treatments, he may be in need of a blood transfusion.

Chase Morrone’s blood type is O negative. If you have this blood type and would be willing to donate a pint of blood on Chase’s behalf, please call Hackensack Medical Center at (201) 996-4818 as soon as possible. Please tell them that you are donating for Chase Morrone.

We also ask that you consider forwarding this message to your personal and professional networks. Chase has a rare blood type and we need to find a number of donors to assist him. Louis and Ann Louise would like to thank you all in advance for your assistance and for your continuing concern and support for Chase during this difficult time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rotary International United Nations Day

Caldwell Rotarian Christy Berg with Rotary International President-elect Sakuji Tanaka

1200 Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, Rotary Scholars and students, representing 32 countries and 22 U.S. states, participated in Rotary International Day at The United Nations on November 5. Rotary's relationship with the United Nations dates back to 1945 when 49 Rotarians acted as delegates, advisors and consultants at the United Nations Charter Conference. Today, Rotary holds the highest consultative status possible with the United Nations as a non-governmental organization.

The day emphasized the importance of the partnership between Rotary International, The United Nations, and other NGOs. The example Rotary has set with PolioPlus was highlighted as a model that can be replicated to tackle other global issues. Panels comprised of Rotary, United Nations, UN Agency and NGO speakers discussed common priorities: health, water and sanitation, literacy, youth and disaster relief.

16-year old Amina Hussain Bhatti gave a poignant reminder of the importance and relevance of The Four Way Test as she applied it to the denial of education to girls in her native Pakistan. RI President-elect Sakuji Tanaka recognized the commonality of the diverse audience. "We all join Rotary for different reasons," he said. "We stay in Rotary because it makes us happy and lets us bring joy to others".

Christy Berg
Rotary Club of the Caldwells