Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Not a Golfer? Enjoy a country club dinner and support the Caldwell College Autism Center

Special Guest: CBS Television Meteorologist John Elliot to MC dinner.

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells has committed all money raised from their 40th annual Golf Outing to The Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis at Caldwell College. We are extremely grateful to those who have already registered to play golf or have become sponsors of the event.

A limited number of sponsorships are still available, providing an opportunity to showcase your company’s support for this important cause.

If you’re not a golfer, there is still an opportunity for you to join in the fellowship of the day and to support this important cause. The dinner following the day of golf is open to all and promises to be an enjoyable evening. Please consider joining us at Cedar Hill Country Club for a delicious meal and cocktails.

Sponsorships or dinner tickets can be purchased or donations made at

Rotary Donates Playground to Caldwell

by Teresa Akersten, Editor, The Caldwell Patch

The Kiwanis Oval will once again have a playground thanks to the generosity of the Rotary Club of the Caldwells.

The Rotary has donated funding for a playground which will be installed on the patch of grass between the Caldwell Community Center and Borough Hall just outside the entrance to the Kiwanis Oval field.

Caldwell's governing body passed a resolution Tuesday night accepting the gift. The value of the donation was not disclosed.

Rotarian Tom Vetter said the 40' by 40' playground will be completely fenced in. The equipment will be suitable for children ages 3 to 8.

The installation will take place in about two weeks, added Rotarian Sam Kent. Kent said the project is expected to be completed in time for the Caldwell Community Center's campers to use.

A playground once stood at the far end of the field, but was removed before a turf field was installed at the Kiwanis Oval last year.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

40th Annual Golf Outing to benefit Caldwell College Autism Center - Opportunities still available for sponsors, golfers, diners and donors

by Dianne Woitkowski, Rotary Club of the Caldwells

Special Guest: CBS Television Meteorologist John Elliot to MC dinner

On June 16, the Rotary Club of the Caldwells will host its 40thAnnual Golf Outing. This anniversary year is special because all proceeds from the Outing will be used to support the efforts of the newly opened Caldwell College Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis, located on the Caldwell College campus. We are also privileged to have Caldwell local John Elliot join us for the event!

Autism, a growing and serious health concern is a developmental disability that affects 1 in 110 individuals and their respective family members nationwide. In New Jersey, the numbers jump to 1 in 94! New Jersey ranks number one in the number of Autism diagnoses reported annually.

The Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to helping children and their families affected by Autism in Northern New Jersey. A team of highly-trained professionals provide the most effective treatments currently available. It should also be noted that Caldwell College is the first College in New Jersey to offer a doctoral program in Applied Behavioral Analysis with a concentration in Autism.

The Rotary Club of the Caldwells has a long history of supporting local causes in the West Essex community and beyond. Celebrating 60 years of service, the Club raises funds in several ways including: various fund-raisers hosted throughout the year, member and individual contributions, and managing a volunteer staffed consignment shop in Caldwell.

As Sam Kent, Long time Rotarian states: “This event always has and continues to support local causes only!” If you would like more information about Rotary Club of the Caldwells, please visit our website at If you are considering becoming a member of the Club, please contact Jerry Smith, Rotarian at for membership information.

This year’s Golf Outing promises to be better than ever! The event will be held at the Cedar Hill Golf and Country Club, located at 100 Walnut Street in Livingston, NJ. Registration and lunch begins at 11:00AM but the Club strongly encourages all golfers to pre-register online at: . There will be a Shotgun Start at 1:00pm. The Cocktail Hour begins at 6:30. An auction, dinner and golf awards presentation will follow. One feature of the Outing will be a hole-in-one car giveaway. There are several auction prizes being offered including a 3 day/2 night weekend golf vacation in the Catskill Mountains at a private four bedroom home situated on 10 acres. This package includes 2 rounds of Golf at the beautiful Shepherd Hills Golf and Country Club in Roxbury, NY. A complimentary “foursome” will also be auctioned off for a day at the beautiful Seaview Golf Resort located in Galloway, NJ. Several other prizes are included in the auction as well.

There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available including a “pin” sponsorship that puts your company name on a “hole flag” at a very affordable price of $350.00 and you get to keep the flag!

If you are interested in a pin sponsorship, please contact Rotarian Tom Vetter at: for more information as soon as possible because there are only 18 pin sponsorships available and they are already selling quickly. Other sponsorships are available as well and the contributions range from $250 to $10,000 with respective acknowledgements given during the dinner presentation, appropriate sponsorship signage will be displayed prominently and perks including complimentary golf fees included for some sponsorship levels. If you would like more information about purchasing a sponsorship for you or your business, please contact Tom or you can go to and download a golf/registration brochure for more information.

Those who cannot attend but wish to make a tax deductable donation to support Rotary in its Fund-raising efforts may do so, on the website, or mail a check payable to Rotary Club of the Caldwells, PO Box 98, Caldwell, NJ 07006.

Jon Wohlgemuth, President Elect, Caldwell Rotary Board of Directors and Golf Committee Chairperson says: “Spring is finally here so let’s get out and play some golf, and in doing so, support a most worthwhile cause – Autism.”

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Gift Begins with Local Performers

May 7 Talent Showcase benefit will save children’s lives

On Saturday, May 7, 15 local performers will showcase their talents to help the Rotary and Interact Clubs of the Caldwells raise money for a pediatric cardiology surgical mission. Tickets are available at the West Caldwell Public Library, on line at, or at the door. The curtain goes up at 7; doors will open at 6. Tickets are $10 and $7 for students. Children 5 and under will be admitted free.

Rotary chose to host the Talent Showcase as a way to involve the community, giving people an opportunity to directly help save the lives of children through the Gift of Life program, whether by donating their talent or attending the show. All proceeds from the event will be used to sponsor heart surgeries for children who would otherwise not have access to the medical care they need to survive.

Since 1974, Gift of Life is credited with saving over 11,000 lives, including 18 children in the Dominican Republic whose surgeries were sponsored by the Rotary Club of the Caldwells in 2007. The club hopes to raise enough money through the support of the community to save approximately 25 children.

The response to the club’s call for auditions was tremendous, attracting a diverse group of talented performing artists, both established and emerging. The showcase will be a wonderful mix of rock, pop, gospel, Broadway and classical music, with some magic and a few surprises mixed in. The show will be enjoyed by people of all ages and is a special way for families to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Recording artist Stephanie White said that her band, The Pfilth Harmonic, is “always eager to be part of local efforts for a greater cause. These children need help and what better way to unite and educate people than through music.” Garrett Bell agrees, “We are here to support the kids through music”. Bell and his GNGR band mates Jason Inguagiato, Owen Daly-Smith and Aidan O’Connor will bring a mix of punk, rock, alternative and pop to the stage.

Many of these artists have donated their talent for other causes in which they believe over the years. Don’t Look Back’s members Bobby Norgard. Olivia Polci, Ryan Peter, Danny Spadaro and Patrick Wu, have helped raise money for the people of Darfur and The Children’s Specialized Hospital. Spadaro and Erik Parian, winner of the “Rutgers Idol” competition, will also perform as Cousins Live. And, Patrick Wu will give us a taste of his award winning beatboxing. “Every human being deserves the gift of life, “ said Wu. “Everyone, no matter where they come from, should have the opportunity to have their wishes realized and their dreams come true.”

When he’s not performing off-Broadway, for Fortune 500 companies or groups like Chicago and Earth, Wind and Fire, professional magician David Corsaro donates his talent to Habitat for Humanity and the Lions Club. Nicole Garamella, who volunteers regularly at West Caldwell Handicap Canteens and will grace the stage with a selection from Phantom of the Opera, explains “To actually make a difference in someone’s heart makes me proud of the gift that God has given me.” Accomplished gospel artist, Johnnie Jones, agrees, “By the grace of God, I am able to help these young people experience that gift of life, that they may prosper and be in good health, even as their souls prosper. ”

The audience will also be treated to performances by veteran artists of all genres. Barbershop and acappella singer Anthony Procino has performed with the Morris Music Men, Dapper Dans, and The New Jersey Connection. After six years with the US Navy Band, Pianist Cass Gilbert performed with Jimmy Santo's Latin Band, The Hecklers, The Silver Starlite Orchestra and Tune Toppers. Staci Beth Block, a member of the Bergen County Players, has years of theater performances in NYC and NJ to her credit and will give us a taste of cabaret. Professional actor Alex Oleksij has spent over twenty years on stage in a variety of musicals. “Children are our greatest natural resource,” said Oleksij. “Rotary and Gift of Life should be saluted and supported in their ongoing efforts to give children the full, rich lives they deserve.”

A diverse group of solo performances will include guitarist and music instructor Mark Caccioppoli who can be enjoyed at local coffee houses or his regular “Sunday Gig” at Notre Dame Church. Lenny Meranus, known as “Livingston Leo” to members of his band, has toured both locally and with international acts such as Los Lobos. Leon Richardson, who has multiple concert choirs, swing choruses and musicals to his credit, will bring soulful R&B to the stage. We’ll also hear an acoustic performance by David Ciaro, drummer for Goth-Punk outfit, Blackpool, and the band, It Ain’t Pretty, who can be seen at bars up and down the NJ coast. And, Jordan Whiting, an extremely talented fifth grader from Washington School, will impress us with a Hayden piano concerto.

Rotary members have been extremely moved by the outpouring of support from these artists, local business sponsors such as The Animal Emergency and Referral Center and North American Eagle Construction, and members of the community. They have adopted the motto “The Gift Begins Here…with YOU” because the ability to save a child is within everyone’s reach.