Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kevin Hersh honored with Rotary Service Above Self Award

Sam Kent presents prestigious Rotary award to Kevin Hersh
Photo by Janet Markman

In an organization such as The Rotary Club of The Caldwells, whose mission is that of service and whose members are involved in dozens of projects both locally and internationally, no one seeks to stand out. However, through his work, Caldwell Rotary’s Past-President Kevin Hersh has done just that. On Tuesday, November 30, Hersh’s “indefatigable and exemplary service to the causes and ideal of Rotary” was recognized with the presentation of the club’s Bill Davidson Service Above Self Award.

The Service Above Self Award is a prestigious honor for individual Rotarians, recognizing those who have displayed exemplary humanitarian service with a focus on active involvement in helping others through Rotary. In 1989, Rotary International established “Service Above Self” as it’s principal motto because it best conveys the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service.

“Kevin has devoted himself to Rotary and is perhaps the most accomplished person ever to receive this award,” said Tom Cocchiola, President. “His efforts on committees, in club office, and during his two year presidency have been tireless and his contributions have truly made a difference in people’s lives.”

Community Service Chairperson Sam Kent presented the award, commending Kevin for the impact his work has made in such a short period of time. “When trees were coming down in a recent storm in North Caldwell, Kevin was there to help,” recalled Kent. “When people needed help during the Fairfield floods, Kevin was there.”

“You can’t call what I’ve been doing work, because I honestly enjoy it, “ explained Hersh. “I went out during the storm to keep people from driving over the dangerous electrical wires that were down. I went out during the flooding, because people needed to know they were not alone at such a difficult time.” Hersh received emergency services training through the West Essex Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) so that he could be of service during local emergencies.

Hersh has been instrumental in gaining support for the club’s Haiti Relief Effort from the community and from Rotary clubs across New Jersey. Through the efforts of Caldwell Rotarian Mike Kamborakis and the Dominican Republic Rotary, the capability for shipping, storing and distributing supplies on the island was already well established when the earthquake hit. Locally donated food, water, medicine and supplies were distributed to remote, devastated areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic within 48 hours. Recognizing the club’s unique capability to reach those in need while many were still scrambling to respond, Hersh went on a major campaign for donations. Thanks to his continued outreach efforts and a tremendous response from the community, relief shipments continue weekly and have helped thousands of people.

Recognizing and capitalizing on low cost, little time, high impact opportunities to help others is the foundation for other “micro projects” spearheaded by Hersh. He has arranged for Willing Hearts to be drop off point for used printer cartridges that will be exchanged for school supplies for local students in need. And, he is collecting used strollers and car seats to be donated to low income mothers in Irvington.

Hersh also chaired the 2010 Caldwell Street Fair committee, coordinating the efforts of Rotary and Kiwanis members throughout their ten months of planning. The Street Fair was successful in raising money for service projects by both organizations.

Volunteerism is a Hersh family affair. Rita Rovazzi, Kevin’s wife and business partner, has provided tremendous support to her husband and to the Caldwell Rotary. Rovazzi has generously donated her professional expertise to team with Hersh on club design projects and in developing a series of videos to promote Rotary initiatives. View The Haiti Relief Effort at www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUOAHzm1erE and Help The Children Hear at www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWvSfbrFCmo&feature=youtu.be&a.

“My father taught me as a child to give back to your community wherever you live or work,” said Hersh. His family has had a multi-generational commitment to service – a tradition Kevin continued by joining Rotary.

Hersh’s hope is that more professionals in the Caldwells consider Rotary membership as their avenue to service. “I’d like to get more hands on deck so we can accomplish more in less time and generate more ideas about what our community needs. I’m especially inspired by our volunteers in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s who are looking forward and at what our town needs tomorrow.”

For more information about membership opportunities and the Rotary Club of the Caldwells, please contact Tom Cocchiola at 973-226-2344. Visit www.caldwellrotary.org to read about some of the club’s current projects.

By Rotarian Christy Berg

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Caldwell Rotary and Kiwanis proudly celebrate their annual Thanksgiving Ecumenical Luncheon

Guest speakers (from L to R): Rev. Msgr. Kenneth Herbster,Rev. Stephanie Wethered, and Rabbi Alan Silverstein.

Nearly 100 people attended this year’s annual Rotary-Kiwanis sponsored Ecumenical Luncheon, held at Mayfair Farms on Tuesday, November 23. This gathering included members of the clergy from local houses of worship who are members of the West Essex Ministerial Association, representatives of community-based service organizations, as well as members from the local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs.

Co-chairs of this inspirational luncheon were Bob Markman of Caldwell Rotary, who also emceed the event, and Barbara Peck of Kiwanis of Caldwell / West Essex. Introductory speakers this year were Kiwanis President William Fried, Jr. and Sam Kent of the Rotary Club.

Attendees included guest speakers Rabbi Alan Silverstein, Congregation Agudeth Israel in Caldwell; Reverend Msgr. Kenneth Herbster, Notre Dame Church in North Caldwell; Reverend Stephanie Wethered, St. Peter’s Church in Essex Fells; and Reverend Msgr. Michael J. Desmond, of St. Aloysius Parish in Caldwell - who gave the invocation.

Also in attendance were Caldwell Mayor Susan Gartland; Dr. Nancy Blattner, President of Caldwell College; Stanford Brown of The Bridge; Mary Davidson of the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education; Roberta Schoenberg of Caldwell LIVE; and Kristopher Almquist of Crane’s Mill in West Caldwell.

This annual event is more than good food, good company, and fellowship. To support our local food bank, Caldwell Rotary made provisions for attendees to make both monetary and non-perishable food donations, and through Kiwanis, Pio Costa gave $300 in supermarket food cards, also to be donated to the Caldwell Food Pantry.

by Rotarian Bob Markman

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rotary Seeks High School Students for Overseas Study

HOLA! BONJOUR! KONNICHI WA! NÎ HÂO! Learn a new language – experience a different culture – make new friends – spend a year in a foreign land; there are many benefits of studying abroad.

If you will be a high school student in 2011-12, you can broaden your world view as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in a foreign country. Many for-profit exchange programs cost tens of thousands of dollars for such exchanges. Rotary has been providing this enriching experience since the 1920’s for a minimal cost to students and their families.

Rotary Club volunteers administer the program at the local level, which helps keep costs low for students and their families. These volunteers often offer years of experience with students and host families, ensuring a safe, nurturing and enriching environment.

While students are overseas, they are treated like a member of the family…their schooling, their room and board and their food are covered by the host family.

Rotary District 7470, comprised of Essex, Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties, has had student exchanges with Spain, Germany, France, Japan, India, Brazil, Argentina and many other countries.

There are two programs for high school students: an academic year exchange, and a short-term exchange of 3 to 4 weeks during the summer. Applications from interested students will be accepted until December 31, 2010. Interviews will be conducted during January and February of 2011 with final selections made by the end of February.

Is your child interested in becoming a foreign exchange student? Would you enjoy the experience of hosting a student from another country? For more information, visit www.youthexchangenj.org or contact Avi Tilak at 973-989-4037 or avitilak9@gmail.com

To learn more about Rotary in your community, visit www.rotarydistrict7470.org

Larry Ripley

Rotary District 7470

Monday, November 8, 2010

Please join Rotary at our Ecumenical Luncheon

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells and the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell / West Essex are having their annual “Pre-Thanksgiving” Ecumenical Luncheon on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 12:00 Noon at Mayfair Farms, 481 Eagle Rock Ave., West Orange, NJ.

Invitees include members of the West Essex Ministerial Association, the Mayors of our local towns, representatives of community-based service groups, in addition to the members of our local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs.

This event is also open to the leaders and representatives of other service-oriented groups, and to any community-minded individuals who are interested in learning more about the many service programs and activities that both Rotary and Kiwanis have been involved with in helping others – locally and abroad.

Arrangements have been made with Caldwell’s Food Pantry to accept donations (monetary and non-perishable food items) to help needy families in the community.

The cost for this luncheon is $18 and includes a buffet-style luncheon (vegetarian and dietary-restricted meals are available). To register for this event, please contact Bob Markman either at 973-226-4357 or at RHMarkman@aol.com. R.S.V.P. by Monday, November 22, 2010.

Any questions? Contact Bob Markman, Caldwell Rotary Club Service Chair at

973-226-4357 or at RHMarkman@aol.com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rotary supports the Caldwell Food Pantry. Donations needed to help local families.

Rotary Club of the Caldwells presents The Caldwell Food Pantry with a $1000.00 check to help local families in need. L to R: Tom Cocchiola, President Caldwell Rotary; Maria Burak, Caldwell Director of Human Services; Sam Kent, Caldwell Rotarian. Photo by Bob Markman

Please join The Rotary Club of The Caldwells in providing assistance to local families by supporting the Caldwell Food Pantry. “The need to help our neighbors has increased significantly in the past year,” explained Maria Burak, Caldwell’s Director of Human Services, in her recent presentation to the club. “Every week I get a call from someone whose home is going into foreclosure or who is having difficulty providing for their family. The Caldwell Food Pantry can help make ends meet through challenging times.”

Rotary President Tom Cocchiola presented Burak with a check for one thousand dollars that will be used to purchase supermarket gift cards for Caldwell and West Caldwell residents in need. Rotarians are also kicking off a food drive to support the pantry. Non-perishable food items can be dropped off at The Caldwell Community Center. Checks should be made payable to “The Caldwell Welfare Fund” and mailed to 1 Provost Square, Caldwell, NJ 07006. All money donated will be used to purchase supermarket gift cards.

While all food and toiletries will be gladly accepted, special focus in the coming weeks will be on the preparation of at least 80 Thanksgiving gift baskets for delivery to local families. “Anything you’d prepare for your own Thanksgiving dinner could be included,” said Burak. “Our goal is to raise enough money to include a gift card with each basket.”

Rotary volunteers will help assemble the Thanksgiving baskets on Monday, November 22 and Tuesday, November 23 at The Caldwell Food Pantry and will deliver them to local families on Tuesday evening, November 23. If you would like to volunteer your time on either date, please contact Maria Burak at 973-403-4623.

The Caldwell Food Pantry, located at 14 Park Avenue in Caldwell, is available to any Caldwell or West Caldwell resident who needs food. For additional information, please call 973-403-4623.

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells is a community service organization whose members dedicate their time and talent to dozens of worthwhile causes both locally and internationally. To learn more about Rotary, please visit www.caldwellrotary.org or call Tom Cocchiola at 973-226-2344.

by Rotarian Christy Berg

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rotary and Kiwanis partner toward another successful Street Fair

Photos by Janet Markman

Everyone in the Caldwells looks forward to the first Sunday in October. For the past 19 years, it's been a day of celebration for the community as Bloomfield Avenue shuts down and downtown transforms into the Rotary/Kiwanis Street Fair. More than 35,000 people attended this year's festivities, enjoying the food, rides, vendors, beer garden, music, entertainment and one another. Three lucky winners ended their day by splitting a 50/50 with proceeds over $28,000.

The Rotary/Kiwanis Street Fair exemplifies what can be achieved when two service clubs collaborate toward an end. What began as an idea for a community event has grown into a major fundraiser for both organizations, contributing significantly to their annual budgets. The proceeds are invested back into the community or into national or international service projects through the work of Rotary and Kiwanis volunteers.

Planning and executing an event of this magnitude is no small feat. Work begins each year in November for the following year. A Rotary and Kiwanis Chair and Co-chair is assigned for The Street Fair and for each committee, ensuring parity in decision making and responsibility between the clubs. Rotarian Kevin Hersh, 2010 Street Fair Chair, partnered with Kiwanian Bob Hodge to lead a team of 48 committee chairs and members in working through every detail of the event from planning logistics to securing sponsors and vendors. Every member of Rotary and Kiwanis volunteers to work the Street Fair. Together with volunteers from across the community and emergency services, they make the day possible.

Past President June VanZandt recalled the genesis of The Street Fair and Rotary’s partnership with Kiwanis. “The idea for a community event came from Rotary, inspired by the Denville club, but we knew it was too big to manage ourselves. After exhausting the potential for partnership with other Rotary Clubs, I decided to approach Kiwanis. Their president was excited by the idea and very reasonable. The two organizations worked together for two years to plan the first Street Fair. Irene Gibbons, who was then Mayor and is still active in Kiwanis, was extremely supportive. A reputation had existed that Rotary and Kiwanis were competitors, which we did not believe. Our collaboration demonstrated the value of both clubs and that we could work together toward the betterment of our community.” Hersh agreed, “working with another service group adds community cohesiveness and makes for an extraordinary event.”

Please mark your calendar for the first Sunday in October 2011 to join The Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of The Caldwells as they celebrate The Street Fair’s 20th anniversary.

Rotarian Christy Berg

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rotary Service Day at Camp Merry Heart

In the hills of Hackettstown, Camp Merry Heart has provided recreation and respite opportunities to over 30,000 children and adults with disabilities or special needs since 1967.

For almost three decades, Rotary District 7470 and the Rotary Club of the Caldwells have supported Camp Merry Heart financially and through volunteer service.

“I’ve been a Rotarian for 23 years and the Caldwell club has supported Camp Merry Heart as long as I’ve been a member,” recalls President Tom Cocchiola. “I can honestly say that it’s one of the best uses of the money we raise because of what we’re doing and who we’re doing it for.” Rotarian Keith Calandra agrees. “I’ve got a real soft spot for the kids. I give them everything we possibly can give them.”

Calandra has led Caldwell Rotary’s support of Camp Merry Heart for the last seven years. For this year’s Rotary District Service Day on August 11, he coordinated volunteers Tom Cocchiola, Dora Hillyer, Paul Marinaccio, Sam Kent, Jonathan Barrett, June VanZandt, Christy Berg , Bob and Janet Markman to help host a day of festivities for the campers. The team sponsored and ran The Moonwalk and served a barbeque dinner to 250 campers, staff and volunteers.

Other Rotary clubs from the district sponsored and ran refreshments stations, games and activities such as karaoke, therapy dachshunds and a dunking booth. “It was a wonderful and rewarding day,” said Berg. “Seeing the children smile with such happiness made me know that we were doing something very special.”

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells also funds $3000-$4000 in Camperships each year, helping pay the way for children who couldn’t otherwise attend Camp Merry Heart. “These one or two weeks make a difference not only to the child, but also to the parents,” explained Cocchiola. “Imagine how much work is involved in care giving. This gives them a much needed break.”

In addition, the club has donated and helped build amenities for the camp. In recent years, Caldwell Rotarians built a fire pit, created a butterfly garden, fenced in the playground, laid the foundation for the infirmary, constructed an outdoor chapel, and purchased benches. Last year the club donated athletic gear including fishing poles, soccer and baseball equipment and life jackets. Each year a team of does spring clean up, maintaining the trails, furniture and equipment.

Camp Merry Heart’s programs help people with special needs build confidence, cultivate a sense of independence, increase social skills, build relationships and reduce disability related health consequences. To learn more about Camp Merry Heart and watch a video featuring their campers, visit http://nj.easterseals.com/CampingampRecreationalServices.

To learn more about The Rotary Club of the Caldwells and their commitment to service both locally and internationally, please visit http://www.caldwellrotary.org or call 973-226-2344.

Submitted by Rotarian Christy Berg

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rotary helps WEFAS purchase Protective Gear for Volunteers

When an emergency call is made to 911 in Caldwell, Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell or West Caldwell, the volunteers of the West Essex First Aid Squad (WEFAS) will be there to help - any time, any day. The squad of 80 trained volunteers responds to an average of 7-8 calls each day.

To provide emergency service to five communities properly, WEFAS needs volunteers and up-to-date, well maintained equipment. Most
of their funding comes through donations from local residents, business and civic organizations. “We are extremely grateful to our community donors who are there for us every year,” said WEFAS President John Taylor. “It is through their donations that we are able to safely respond and to help save lives."

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells continues to support WEFAS this year by donating $2,500 toward turn-out gear. This personal protective equipment is clothing is worn by the WEFAS volunteers in emergency situations. "The safety of the volunteers is extremely important," said Past Rotary President Kevin Hersh. "I cannot even imagine our community without our emergency service network. WEFAS volunteers are part of this network and their safety is paramount."

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells has a long heritage of supporting WEFAS. In 2009, the organization donated all proceeds from their annual golf outing – over $12,000 – to help WEFAS purchase a new rescue vehicle. "It is an honor to contribute to WEFAS. They are a remarkable group,” said Tom Cocchiola, Rotary President. “By supporting WEFAS, The Rotary Club of the Caldwells is supporting both WEFAS and our communities. To the volunteers of WEFAS, The Rotary Club of the Caldwells says THANK YOU!"

During the presentation of the check on Tuesday, John Taylor expressed his appreciation to the Rotary Club of the Caldwells.
“Organizations such as Rotary have been very generous to us through your donations and we thank you.”

To learn more about volunteering for WEFAS or to make a contribution, please contact
973-403-8568 or visit www.westessexfas.org. To learn more about The Rotary Club of the Caldwells and their commitment to service both locally and internationally, please visit http://www.caldwellrotary.org or call 973-226-2334.

Submitted by Rotarian Christy Berg

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rotary District Conference - a personal perspective

Okay...had I known that Gettysburg was at the far edge of the middle of nowhere, I might have had second thoughts about attending the District Conference there at the end of May. However, I decided it would be a great opportunity to try out my new motorcycle (a 2003 Honda Nighthawk 750, for those with an interest in such details) on a road trip, as well as a chance to see a larger segment of Rotary up close.

The trip there was longer than anticipated and much of it was after dark. Note to self: that part of rural Pennsylvania basically shuts down and turns out the lights around 9PM, so it got pretty lonely on the road. I arrived at the very spiffy conference venue outside the town at about midnight, and was welcomed by the hotel staff as if it were a perfectly normal time for a guest to arrive, carrying low-end motorcycle luggage and looking fairly bedraggled.

By early next morning--Rotary conference organizers seem to have a fetish about starting the program at 7:30AM and going until the wee hours of the night--all was sorted out. The welcome table had all my "stuff"--name badge, goody bag, miscellaneous info about the area and a mini stuffed bear, which later on I donated to our president's, Kevin's, collection for shipment to Haiti as "packaging" for medicine, etc.

The days in Gettysburg were, frankly, a tad longer than I am used to and much of the meeting time was taken up with formal reports about official District business. But....there was also an awful lot of information about what the District and individual clubs, such as ours, have been doing to make the world a better place. The boards and circular picture displays that our president, Kevin Hersh, and his wife Rita had painstakingly put together were a huge hit, and Kevin's presentation, although brief but accompanied by eye-catching and informative videos, was very warmly received.

On the final evening, at dinner, there were musical presentations by the fairly large group of Rotary exchange students who were heading home after a year's stay here, and by a small group of Finnish young professionals who had been visiting the District for the past couple of weeks. (FYI, I got to practice my four or five words of Finnish.) Along the way, a lot of time was spent by DG Karen Castora giving out awards for an enormous variety of achievements. Our club, and our president, Kevin Hersh, in particular, were showered with our large share of such awards, for which I was extremely proud.

Two personal highlights of my time in Gettysburg: first, the opportunity to re-connect with my now dear friend, Leo Redmond, who has visited and spoken at our club meetings several times and who gave a fantastic presentation on his year in Turkey as our District's Ambassadorial Scholar. The older ladies, in particular, wanted to know if Leo had "met a girl" while in Turkey, and after some good-natured banter he shyly admitted that he had and that the relationship was moving ahead slowly but steadily.

The second highlight was a motorcycle outing of the countryside around Gettysburg and of the battlefield itself led by the president of one of the Denville clubs. There were four of us bikers, plus two wives and one of the Finnish ladies, who stopped for lunch at one of the historic houses in the town and then spent a very enjoyable few hours leisurely wandering the back roads. The ride was, regrettably, cut short by a sudden downpour, but we had a convivial time even so.

The ride home to New Jersey was in daylight and thankfully uneventful, except for a very unpleasant first 1/2 hour or so in a chilly drizzle.

I was so pumped by the whole experience that I am seriously considering riding the bike to next year's Conference in Annapolis, Maryland. I would urge other club members to consider going (in cars, if you must), as well, as the experience is worthwhile and enables us to get out of our sometimes parochial perspective and to see the wider world of Rotary at the District level.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Batkay


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rotary Awards Three Scholarships to Outstanding Students

On 6/1/10, I attended the James Caldwell High School Awards night assembly and presented the club scholarships of $1,500. each to Deanna Marinucci and Paula Aristizabal. On June 2, 2010, June VanSandt attended the West Essex High School Awards assembly to present the scholarship of $1,500. to Lee Holtzman. These students were outstanding candidates and demonstrated high academic acheivement, strong community service and wide participation in extra curricular activites. They would make any parent very proud.

John E. Burgio

Caldwell Rotarian

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Girl Scouts deliver HOPE for Haiti

Kevin Hersh, President, Rotary Club of the Caldwells, Darion Triplett, Kathy Malkinski, Kelly Malkinski, Kendall Gregory, Nelson Diego Checo, Daniela Dellanno, Marianna Colavita, Rotarian Gerardo D’Emilio.

The girl scouts of troop 2090 of East Hanover delivered clothing, food and toys to Terzako Furs in Caldwell, NJ on May 15, 2010. The donation was for the people of Haiti. The girls arrived at 1 PM, unpacked the vehicles and Nelson "Diego" Checo, Rotary's Dominican liaison in the Dominican for Haiti immediately started packing for a 3.30 PM shipment. Fifteen boxes or an approximate 2,625 lbs of goods were then shipped for distribution in Haiti.

After the delivery, Marianna Colivita, project leader, presented Kevin Hersh, President, Rotary Club of the Caldwells with a check for $275 collected by the Girl Scouts. Marianna also presented Kevin with an application for a matching grant from Kraft Foods for an additional $275 bringing the total donation to $550.

Kevin Hersh, Diego and Rotarian Mike Kambourakis gave the girls a brief history of the project and Rotarian Gerardo D'Emilio brought out photo books to show the girls how we are all making a difference to so many lives.

A big thank you goes out to Monte Erenkrantz of the Livingston Sunrise Rotary for making the arrangements to get the delivery to The Rotary Club of the Caldwells for "The Haiti Relief Effort."

The girls could not stay long, they had to leave for a scheduled softball game. We hope they Won, they deserved it. THANK YOU GIRL SCOUTS!

Kevin Hersh
Rotary Club of the Caldwells

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Enjoy a Great Day of Golf or Become a Hole Sponsor for a Very Worthy Cause!

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells invites one and all to our 39th annual golf outing at Ballyowen on Tuesday 6/22/10. Link here for details about signing up as a golfer or a hole sponsor

The Ballyowen golf course is set in a beautiful surroundings with a layout that has something for golfers at all skill levels.

Golfers have an opportunity to win a 2010 Chevy Camaro courtesy of Konner Chevrolet. Of course, everyone has an opportunity to win many other prizes that will be awarded during dinner.

Come and join us for a day of fun! Golf, dinner, and amenities in a beautiful setting with friends...all for $175 per person. We promise you'll have a great day... regardless of your score.

You'll also be helping us to help so many people because all proceeds will be used to fund local and international charities. The Rotary CLub of the Caldwells supports many local charities providing scholarships, sponsoring a handicapped children's camp, helping families in need and local first aid squads. We are also actively involved in relief projects in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, funding life-saving operations for children from third world countries, providing hearing aids to indigent children, and so much more.

You can still participate if you're not a golfer or don't have the day off by being a hole sponsor. A $100 hole sponsorship gets you exposure to some of the nicest and most influential people you'll ever meet.

Thomas J. Cocchiola, P.E., C.S.P.
President Elect
Rotary Club of the Caldwells

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Rescue Truck for WEFAS!

On Sunday February 28th, the West Essex First Aid Squad (WEFAS) brought
their brand new rescue truck to Notre Dame Parish in North Caldwell to
have the truck blessed. Father Anthony of Notre Dame performed the
blessing as a contingent of parishioners looked on.

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells hosted our annual golf outing in 2009, raising
over $12,000. All of this money was donated to WEFAS to help purchase this new rescue vehicle.

We will all benefit in some way by having a vehicle like this
on call to help our family, friends, and neighbors should there be a
need. Once again, the Rotary Club of the Caldwells has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the communities we serve. Great job everyone!

Jon Wohlgemuth
Vice President
Rotary Club of the Caldwells

Friday, February 12, 2010

Caldwell & Livingston Rotary Club in the news!

Special thanks to Monte Ehrenkranz of Livingston Rotary who is spearheading collection efforts for the Caldwell Haiti Relief Project in the community of Livingston. And, to Livingston High School Students and their teacher, Janet Storti who are helping with the sorting and packing. True teamwork in a time of need! We are grateful for your partnership in making a difference.

Read more about it and see pictures in "The Caldwell Patch" by linking here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Caldwell Rotarian reports in from Northern Haiti

Rotarian Mike Terzako, owner of Terzako Furs on Bloomfield Avenue, arrived this weekend in the Dominican Republic to work side by side with our local partners. Today he called club president Kevin Hersh to provide an update:

I just got off the phone with Diego and Mike.
Diego was shopping for pasta, rice, water, meat and cookies on Friday and Saturday. Today, along with other supplies shipped to the Island, Mike and Diego, along with security, distributed most of what they could carry 25 miles into Northern Haiti. What follows is Mike's description of what he is seeing.

The area is a war zone, it is a forgotten land. The air is filled with flies. The truck was left back someways because we were mobbed by people that came out from everywhere. We are now distributing using 3- and 4-wheelers. What we have left is water and macaroni. The people are not violent, they are in great need. They are thankful for the food, water and clothing. "Rotario, Rotario, Rotario" was chanted by the people. There is no running water. The people are using the river as an open sewer. They are swimming in the same river, washing in it and also drinking from it. Hygiene makes me think of what it might have been back in the 1700's. It is not good here.

By the time you receive this update, Mike, Diego and his hired security will have left Haiti. I told Mike that the priority of this work is safety. If the truck is mobbed step away, step away.

Mike has my video camera and Diego is also taking photos. Mike told me the video will make us cry. I told Mike that yes, the video may make us cry but it will also make us proud to be Rotarians.

Kevin Hersh
Rotary Club of the Caldwells

The referenced video will be shared with you on this site when it becomes available. Financial donations as well as donations of food, medical triage supplies, baby formula, sandals and light weight clothing are still urgently needed and are being shipped regularly for distribution. As you can see, we are personally ensuring that these donations make it into the hands of those in dire need. Details on how to make a donation can be found in the last post. We are extremely grateful to those who are making this work possible through your generosity and humanity.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You are helping Caldwell Rotary make a difference in Haiti!

Water Barrels and Supplies Being Delivered by Rotary

Jean Paul Richter said, “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good actions; try to use ordinary situations.” Because Rotary employs this philosophy as action and our club has been helping the poor in the Dominican Republic for five years, we are proud to have been first responders in the delivery of water, food, and medical supplies to devastated villages in Haiti and the Dominican. Our established shipping and distribution network, including a secure warehouse facility, modest truck, and trusted hands on the island, mean that 100% of all goods and funding donated are being used to help people who remain in dire need.

The outpouring of support for this relief effort from the community, businesses, organizations, and other Rotary Clubs has resulted in several shipments a week. Thousands of gallons of water, thousands of pounds of food, medical supplies and other necessities have been and continue to be distributed directly into the hands of the people who need them to survive.

There are many ways that you can help! Tax-deductible donations can be sent to the RCC Endowment, Box 98, Caldwell, NJ 07006. Baby food and formula are desperately needed as infants and children are not getting nourishment their bodies can digest. Dried meats, fruits, nuts, protein bars, and canned foods (such as beans) with pop-tops are urgently needed as are medical supplies – gauze, bandages, antibiotics, antibacterial ointments, etc. Toiletries, new or used summer weight clothing, sandals, shoes, and soft toys are needed. Drop off points are: Konner Chevrolet, 950 Bloomfield Ave., Terzako Furs, 472 Bloomfield Ave. and Ace Hardware, 490 Bloomfield Ave.

Finally, you can help by forwarding this blog to help spread the word and sharing your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

Rotary of the Caldwells. We were there before. We are there now. And, we will be there after the crisis. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being there with us!

Rotarian Christy Berg

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Distributing Aid Since Day 2 of the Earthquake. Help needed!

With most news and resources necessarily focused on the devastation of Port-au-Prince and it's people, little has been reported about the outlying villages of Haiti and the Dominican Republic which were literally leveled in the quake. Survivors here, who live in abject poverty under the best of circumstances, are in dire need of our help - water, food, medical supplies, shelter, clothing.

Last Thursday, at a time when much relief was not getting through, Caldwell Rotary distributed 2,000 bottles of water, 2,000 pounds of food, and other necessary supplies to the people in these remote, decimated areas of Haiti and the DR. A subsequent air shipment of medical supplies was distributed on Friday. Yesterday, an additional 17,000 bottles of water were delivered, with another 8,000 bottles soon to follow. Supplies are quickly being depleted.

How have we been able to respond so quickly to deliver aid directly to the people? Under the leadership of Mike Kambourakis, Caldwell Rotary has been working in the Dominican Republic for the last five years, providing donated clothing, educational and medical supplies, and food to people in the poorest villages. In 2009, we distributed 40,000 pounds. Please take three minutes to watch this video on our Dominican Project.

Because our club has an established distribution network in place, we have the capacity to continue to deliver aid quickly and directly to the people. BUT WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP THE DISTRIBUTION FLOWING! Funding is needed to purchase additional nonperishable food items, water, and medical supplies. Tax deductible donations can be made to the Rotary Club of the Caldwells Endowment Fund, PO Box 98,Caldwell, NJ 07006. Non perishable food, baby formula and food, medical supplies, clothing, sandals, and other donations can be dropped off at Konner Chevrolet, 950 Bloomfield Avenue West Caldwell, NJ 07006.

We are extremely grateful to be in position to help and for the outpouring of support from other Rotarians, local businesses, civic and religious organizations, and individuals. Together we are making a difference!

Yours Sincerely,
Rotarian Christy Berg