Welcome to the Second Century of the Rotary Club of Summit/New Providence
 
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and try to build goodwill and peace in the world.
 
Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community's business and professional men and women. The world's Rotary clubs meet weekly or biweekly and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all.
 
Rotary membership provides the opportunity to become connected to your community, work with others in addressing community needs, interact with other professionals in your community, assist with Rotary International's humanitarian service efforts, establish contacts with an international network of professionals, and develop leadership skills.
 
Locally, the Summit/New Providence Club has been involved with community projects dating back to the Club’s founding on October 22, 1922.  Indeed, our Club has been offering financial aid to local high school students since 1926 (see Home Page Download files below - Our Scholarships - view all recipients for 99 years) and we just handed out our most recent scholarships on June 10th of 2024, to five deserving students from the Summit and New Providence High Schools.  While the majority of our efforts go into education, we are also involved in other projects, both community-wide and with Rotary International in such areas as student exchange and leadership programs. Internationally, we help fund our parent organization in its thirty year, and counting, ongoing effort to eradicate polio as well as a specific project initiated by Summit Rotarians to build and equip a school in a rural and impoverished area of the Indian subcontinent.
 
Club News
Today’s speaker was Vanita Gangwal.  In addition to being a partner at KPMG, she is a trustee of the Nature Conservancy and a member of the Millburn Environmental Commission.  Vanita grew up in Jaipur, India and moved to the US at age eighteen. During High School, she was an active member and President of her School’s Rotary Interact Club. Her topic was sustainability and some thoughts about taking a reasonable approach to protecting the environment.
 
She began her presentation by noting the incredible abundance we have in the US and how this abundance can also lead to unintended degradation of the environment.  Examples cited were our ever-increasing use of disposable things like all types of plastics, from bags to cutlery to packaging.  While convenient, it is now common to find plastic in the bodies of many ocean organisms.  This concept can be expanded to many other types of what she described as “affluent waste.”  Another environmentally harmful issue denoted was the homogeneity of suburban landscaping – vast lawns with almost no native vegetation.  She cited one specific case, the near extinction of the monarch butterfly which can only lay its eggs in the common milkweed plant.  As the name implies, milkweed is a weed, spreading rapidly, and it is poisonous to humans, pets, and cattle.  Suburbanites and farmers eschew it.  Hence, the monarch is going extinct.
 
She concluded by making the case for simply increasing awareness of these issues.  We can’t, and won’t stop using plastic, but we can certainly use less of it.  We want nice looking homes, but there is an option to perhaps not have 100% of our green spaces comprised of manicured grass – some space can be reserved for natural flora.  Increasing awareness and increasing willingness to address environmental degradation is the only solution.  It will require both bottoms up (the citizenry) and top down (the political leadership) to solve these problems.  We thank Vanita for sharing her insights with us and for her efforts towards addressing our many environmental problems.
Today, twenty Rotarians, their spouses and friends attended a great evening dinner at the Elks Club to witness David Dietze accept the president’s gavel from outgoing president, Mike Katz.
 
Mike thanked everyone for their assistance and noted several highlights of his year including our 98th consistent awarding of scholarships, the dictionary and constitution projects, and our recent successful pedals for progress event.
 
David said he was proud to accept the presidency, for the second time, and said he would listen closely to how the Rotarians wanted to take the Club forward.  He noted our membership is declining and we need to rejuvenate our efforts in recruitment, he mentioned the possibility of returning to weekly meetings, and said he would look for new opportunities for our participation in the community.
Mike & David
Today we awarded our 99th series of scholarships to five outstanding graduating seniors from Summit and New Providence high schools.  In attendance were the recipients and their family members as well as Scott Hough, Superintendent of Summit Schools, Stacy Grimaldi, principal of Summit HS, and Dave Miceli, superintendent of New Providence schools.
 
Rotary president, Mike Katz, noted that Dr. Miceli, an 18-year member of the SNP Rotary, would be retiring on Friday and wished him well as he transitions into his next challenge.
 
Mike Katz then proceeded with the program.  Ms. Grimaldi presented awards to the SHS recipients: Jason Cespedes who will attend Syracuse, Randy Rodriuez who will attend Stevens, Maria Gonzales who will attend Lehigh and Diane Saint-Louis who will attend the College of New Jersey – Ms. Saint-Lewis was also the recipient of the Wilber Nelson memorial scholarship.  Then, Dr. Miceli presented the final scholarship to Avery Lee.  Avery will attend the University of Tennessee.
 
As we have so many times in the past, the Rotarians were delighted to present these scholarships to a new group of aspiring, deserving and accomplished scholars.
 
David Dietze, president elect, Mike Katz, Avery, Randy, Jason, Diane, Maria
 
 
 
Today we held our first Pedals for Progress event.
 
P4P is a New Jersey based 501c3.  Their mission statement is simple: 'To empower sustainable economic development by recycling bicycles and sewing machines from the U.S. and shipping them to motivated people in the developing world'.
 
Terri Hutchinson was the point person for this project - she organized and directed the effort.  For a first attempt, we did quite well.  Terry, with the assistance of two volunteers from our InterAct club at the high school, posted fliers all over town, Terry also put ads in the local media and collected ten bikes and several sewing machines from the Summit transfer station and from friends and acquaintances.
 
On Saturday, June 8th, at the Summit YMCA headquarters parking lot, we collected another fifteen bikes and more sewing machines.
 
The bikes were partially dismantled to facilitate shipping.  Volunteers Roger Mehner, Jim Fleischmann, and Jennifer Zhou from the InterAct club, managed the dismantling of the bikes with help from the P4P president, Allen Schultz.
 
In total, we collected twenty-five bikes and ten sewing machines.
 
A special thank you to Terri for all the time-consuming and challenging work she put into this project and to Roger, Jennifer and Jim for their hard work in preparing the bikes for shipment.
 
 
   
 
David Dietze discussed the state of the stock market and the economic outlook for the near to intermediate time period.  David noted that while the economy remained strong and unemployment was   near historic low levels, inflation was still a concern and the Federal Reserve was likely to keep rates high and longer than previously expected.  Essentially, David is relatively positive on the economic outlook.  While the consumer is fighting higher interest rates and higher prices in several sectors, the government has also injected considerable stimulus which has a balancing effect.  He also believes one should remain invested in the stock market and not try to market time as stock prices can react faster to changes in perception than most investors can change their allocations.  David also noted there has been an increasing concentration of value into a decreasing number of companies; roughly one third of the S&P's value is contained in less than twenty stocks, nearly all in the high tech area.  In the link below you can open and review David's excellent PowerPoint slides.  documents/en-us/8efbe607-ff27-48ad-93cc-54727c59e70a/1
 
 
  Our speaker today was Jack Pier, senior mortgage loan officer, M&T Bank.  Jack is a seasoned banker with 33 years of experience.
 
  He began his discussion with several observations.  Housing prices are going up largely because many home owners have very low-rate mortgages written within the past ten years and are reluctant to give them up,   so housing turnover is low and this is reducing homes available for sale.  Also, inflation has caused the FED to raise short term rates and that has caused mortgage rates making home ownership less available for many, especially young families buying a first home.  This has also caused rental prices to rise.
 
 He reviewed a relatively new phenomenon, 'generational living'.  This applies more often to larger and more expensive homes. Older parents (or other relatives) want to down size and their adult children cannot afford a new home or to buy the family home.  They subdivided the home with the children assuming some or all of the expenses and all live together.  Eventually, the children will become the sole occupants.
 
Jack noted the problem is abating, somewhat.  Mortgage rates have already fallen from over 8% earlier this year to around 6.5 - 7%, but the supply remains tight.  He believes supply/demand will remain tight for a while.
 
 
 

On Thursday evening, 2 March 2017, the SNP Rotary honored the librarians of Summit and New Providence as our Citizens of the Year. In all, seventeen librarians attended representing the New Providence Memorial Library, the NP Elementary Schools, NP Middle School and NP High School, and the Summit Free Public Library, the Summit Elementary Schools, the Summit Middle School and the Summit High School. In addition to the honorees, approximately eighty Rotarians and guests were in attendance.

We honor these accomplished individuals whose work insures that all of our citizens, young and old, have access to the information they need to enjoy the process of discovery and learning and to build skills in a vast array of subjects from the arts and sciences to business and technology, medicine and wellbeing, and government and civics.

There was a short program which included statements from the program Chair, Melanie Cohn, Rotary President, Susan Haig, and Scholarship Chair, Ellen Dickson. This was followed by brief comments from representatives of each of the several library systems. The librarians gave a very short description of the many, many activities and services offered by their respective facilities which are an extensive selection raging from story time for toddlers to film series for seniors, weekly concerts, a 3-D lab, extensive reference materials, CDs, music, audio book selections, magazines, periodicals, and excellent physical spaces which include large and small meeting rooms.

Our public and school libraries are core treasures of Summit and New Providence and Rotary is proud to honor the people who run them with efficiency and allow us unfettered access to the information we need on an ongoing basis.

And finally, this event is also the primary annual sponsorship for our Scholarship Fund. Through the enormous efforts of our program chair, Melanie Cohn and Rotary President, Susan Haig, and a dozen other Rotarians, we raised a little over $8,000. Thank you to all the generous donors who helped make this a wonderful celebration and a successful raise for another year of scholarships.

Our Citizens of the Year:

Cindy Abramov, Washington School, Summit

Ann-Marie Aymer, Summit Free Public Library

Abigail Brady, Summit Free Public Library

Colleen Byrne, Director, New Providence Memorial Library

Brandee Conover, Roberts Elementary School, New Providence

Michelle Demich, New Providence Memorial Library

Karen Doherty, Jefferson School, Summit

Lisa Florio, New Providence Memorial Library

Megan Hartley, Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School

Courtney Kaczynski, Brayton School, Summit

Paula McGraw, New Providence High School

Amelia Nagle, New Providence Middle School

Susan Permahos, Director, Summit Free Public Library

Judy Shue, Summit High School

Loreli Stochaj, Franklin School, Summit

Carole Stubeck, Lincoln-Hubbard School, Summit

Kerry Sullivan, New Providence Memorial Library

Beth Thomas, Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School

Rebecca Zarabi, Summit High School


 

Today’s speaker was Donald Peck.  Don is the CEO of The Clausen Company, a leading manufacturer of automotive refinishing products for the automotive aftermarket, as well as a historian.  He is a direct descendant of six signers of the Mayflower Compact. Active memberships include The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of New Jersey and several state and national historical organizations.  He has deep roots in New Jersey.

Don informed us that New Jersey would be celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2026.  The State is gearing up for the celebration by trying to coordinate the many local historical societies and helping them publicize their specific artifacts, battlefields, buildings, etc. He also gave us a history of the eventful year, 1776, vis-à-vis New Jersey’s role in the revolution.  He noted that Thomas Paine published his political treatise, Common Sense, in January 1776, which set forth the case for separating from England.  The colonies were split regarding whether to separate or not, but Paine’s arguments tilted the opinion and several key battles were fought by Washington in that year and 1777 in New Jersey: the battle of Trenton/Princeton, the battle of Monmouth, and the battle of Short Hills (not the current location – it was actually fought in the Metuchen and Edison areas).  These were pivotal battles and set the stage for the ultimate defeat of general Cornwallis in October 1781 and our full independence from King Charles and Britain.

Don encouraged us to look for opportunities to become involved in the preparations for the 250th anniversary of New Jersy.  Most of us were unaware of the anniversary, and we appreciate Don’s enlightening presentation and insights into our state’s history. For those interested in learning more or becoming involved, we invite you to visit: https://jerseyhistory.org/ .
By: James Fleischmann
On Monday, January 15th, we held our annual blood drive.  It was another success.  We collected 50 units of blood.  The Red Cross estimates this will save up to 150 lives.
By: James Fleischmann
On Monday, in lieu of a regular luncheon meeting, we had a fantastic holiday party at Christ Church.

As she has in the past, Kassandra Romas, with a little help from the Marco Polo restaurant, arranged this outstanding event.  We had a first-rate pianist (arranged for by President Mike Katz) who entertained through dinner and later played while Susan Haig led us in “Rotary” carols, and then Mort O’Shea crowned the festivities with one of his classically wry and witty jokes.

About thirty Rotarians, spouses and guests enjoyed great food, great conversation, and the usual Rotarian good fellowship.

Again, many thanks to Kassandra for making all the arrangements: the food and the incredible flowers and decorations.
 


We wish everyone a happy holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Bodhi Day, or the winter solstice, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.
Amanda Block is the founder of GRACE. GRACE is an acronym for giving and receiving assistance for our community’s essentials.

From GRACE’s website: “GRACE stems from eight months of research and conversations in 2015-2016 with local leaders, agencies, and institutions.

Our first month of Family Fun Nights in August 2016 grew into the weekly GRACE distribution thanks to the Summit Interfaith Council, Christ Church, Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Central Presbyterian Church, and the City of Summit’s Department of Community Programs. Five months into GRACE’s inception, the Junior League of Summit adopted GRACE as a project which gave us the necessary governance and administrative support to stabilize and grow.

In October 2019, GRACE moved from Christ Church to the Cornog Field House, where it flourished. In July 2020, the City Council of the City of Summit unanimously voted to name GRACE a program of the City of Summit. In June 2023 GRACE moved distribution to The Summit Community Center, providing  more access to community programs and services that support our neighbors in need.”

The GRACE program grew out of research into what the basic needs are of the “working poor,” i.e., those who are employed but still have insufficient funds to meet life’s necessities. In most cases they are nutritious food and other essentials such as cleaning supplies, bathroom supplies - toilet paper, diapers, and sundries such as simple children/family entertainment – e.g., books and board games. The research goes on – e.g., it was learned that superior quality socks are as important as superior quality shoes, possibly more so – GRACE distributes superior quality socks to those who need them.

When GRACE began in 2016, they were assisting roughly one hundred families per week. During covid, the numbers swelled to over five hundred and currently the number tops four hundred and Amanda expects it to grow.

So, once a week, bags of nutrient dense food, fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, etc., as well as necessity sundries are given to those in need.

Everything distributed is donated by either suppliers of the produce/products or purchased through donations or through contributions from other eleemosynary organizations.

Finally, in addition to the many religious institutions in Summit, GRACE is aligned with Summit’s department of Community Programs and both Union County and the State. Besides giving, GRACE is always trying to connect its users with other available resources such as medical, dental, educational, and social services.

For those interested in more information about GRACE, it is available on their web site: https://www.gracegivingreceiving.org/home .
Today, thirty-five Rotarians and guests had the pleasure of watching Mike Katz accept the president's gavel from outgoing president, Eric Evers.

The festivities were held at the Elks club in Summit, where, as we usually do when the Rotarians gather, there was good food, good drink (the Elks have a bar), and lots of camaraderie.  The speeches were short - Eric reviewed his rather eventful year; returning to in-person meetings in July after sixteen months of COVID induced zoom meetings, the celebration of our 100th anniversary, successful dictionary and constitution projects and the rewarding of our annual scholarships in June.  He also graciously thanked those who assisted him in his year as president, especially Joe Steiner.  Mike followed with a short review of the club's goals and a few thoughts about some future projects and the need to reconstitute several committees. 

All participants agreed we should hold a few more of these evening events where we can schmooze and simply enjoy each other's company.- something President Mike said he would place on his priorities list.
 

Eric & Mike
Today we had the distinct pleasure of awarding our 98th consecutive series of scholarships to five aspiring students from the Summit and New Providence high schools.  The Rotary gave our first scholarship to a young man named Phillip Dean in 1926.  He attended Colgate college and about three decades later served as Summit’s mayor.  We hope today’s recipients have similar successful journeys as they venture out.

In addition to our scholars and their proud family members, in attendance were Dave Miceli, superintendent of schools, New Providence, and Kristy McCauley, NPHS senior advisor, and Scott Hough, superintendent of schools, Summit, Stacy Grimaldi, SHS principal and Laura Kaplan, SHS senior advisor.

Our five scholarship recipients are: 
  1. Kanya Srithong, NPHS and the recipient of the Chandler Coddington scholarship.  Kanya will attend Drexel and study fashion design.
  2. Emma Vatoci, SHS and the recipient of the Wilbur Nelson scholarship.  Emma will attend Boston College and study economics.
  3. German Augie Barrantes, SHS, Seton Hall University.  Augie will study finance/sports management.
  4. Yenni Chacon Gonzales, SHS, Drew University.  Yenni will study business.
  5. Melissa Liang, SHS, Washington University, St. Louis.  Melissa will study business.
The SNP Rotary is proud of its nearly century-long support of our scholarship program and wish our current recipients all the best as they move on to their next major step in life.
 

Mike Katz, Augie, Melissa, Scott Hough, Yenni, Dave Miceli, Kanya, Emma, Eric Evers, Kristy McCauley
On Sunday, October 22, 1922, at the Canoe Brook Country Club, the newly formed Summit Rotary Club held its inaugural dinner.

This past Saturday, on the 22nd of October 2022, exactly 100 years to the day later, the Summit/New Providence Rotary Club celebrated its 100th birthday at, where else, the Canoe Brook Country Club.

About eighty celebrants, Rotarians, family and friends, commemorated Rotary’s many successes over the past century.  Among just a few accomplishments highlighted were our ninety-seven consecutive years of college and university scholarships to deserving high school seniors, our participation with Rotary International in the near eradication of Polio, our several international projects aiding the small Indian village of our friend and past president, Gus Pushparaj, our decades long Dictionary Project providing specially designed dictionaries to every third-grader in both school districts and our more recent Constitution Project providing pamphlets containing the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and learning materials to every middle-schooler in both districts, and our most recent effort, in process, to partner with the Summit Old Guard to create a career counseling program to share our substantial accumulated knowledge and experiences with the high school students as they prepare to start on their own journeys.  We are proud of our past accomplishments, but not resting on our laurels.

There were a few very short speeches briefly recapping some of our highlights by several Rotarians and a special short commentary by Amanda Kowal Kenyon, who a quarter of a century ago, benefited from a Rotary exchange program that expanded her horizons and changed her life, for the better.  There was also a short video produced by Lucas Pastor, Roz Dorlen's talented grandson, describing some of Rotary's best features - watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nkr4B-JVWnY .

Our Gala committee did an outstanding job of creating a wonderful atmosphere and everyone present enjoyed excellent food and drink and even more importantly, what usually happens when Rotarians gather, bonhomie and good fellowship, as we all celebrated 100 years of Service Above Self.

An extra special thanks to our Gala committee who made this happen:
Co-Chairs - Roz Dorlen & Beth McKenna
Evelyn Davis – Immediate Past President
Eric Evers – President & our MC
David Dietze, Joe Steiner, Melanie Cohn, Mike Katz, Jay Leatherbee & Jim Fleischmann.
 

Co-Chairs Dr. Roz Dorlen & Beth McKenna Welcome Celebrants


New Providence Mayor Al Morgan Presents President Eric Evers with Proclamation of Congratulations


Summit Councilwoman Lisa Allen presents President Eric Evers with a Proclamation of Congratulations


Scholarship Chair, Mike Katz, Reviewing 97 Years of Scholarships


Jim Fleischmann Discussing Several other Community Projects


The Room


Vito & Diane Gallo, Mayor Al & Christine Morgan, Shelly & President Eric Evers

 
 
Most of The Gala Committee: Mike Katz, David Dietze, Roz Dorlen, Neela Pushparaj, Beth McKenna, Evelyn Davis, Joe Steiner & President, Eric Evers
At today’s meeting we installed our new president for fiscal 2022/23 and our new slate of directors.  In attendance was the District Governor, Shelby Rhodes, who as one of her last official duties, oversaw the appointments.

Outgoing president Evelyn Davis handed over the gavel to incoming president, Eric Evers.  During Evelyn’s tenure we returned to in-person meetings, held another successful shredding fund raiser, initiated a new program, the Constitution Project, whereby each middle schooler in Summit and New Providence will receive their own copy of the US Constitution in conjuncture with a new statewide mandate to teach civics in all public schools, completed our annual dictionary project by handing out over 500 dictionaries to every third-grader in the Summit and NP school districts , distributed $20,000 in scholarships to six deserving high school students from SHS and NPHS, and, finalized a multiyear effort to assist the Monfort Brother’s ongoing effort to enhance education in the small village in southern India of our past president and departed friend, Gus Pushparaj.  Gus’ wife, Neela, spearheaded the effort and we were able to transfer $20,000, a substantial amount coming from the Pushparaj Foundation, to assist in the furnishing of the school’s new library.

Incoming President Eric Evers will have the honor of presiding over our centennial celebration.  The SNP Rotary began on 22 October 1922.  In addition to overseeing the completion of Summit’s New Fire station, Chief Evers will take the SNP Rotary into its next century.  He will be assisted by the incoming slate of directors which include Mike Katz, President -Elect, Beth McKenna, Vice President, Joe Steiner, Secretary and Jim Fleischmann, Treasurer and Past President, Evelyn Davis.

Finally, Evelyn presented Dr. Roz Dorlen with her past president’s pin.  Roz was president from June 2020 through June 2021.  Interestingly, she never had the opportunity to preside over an in-person meeting as all our meeting were held via Zoom due to the necessary isolation from COVID-19.  However, it was through the efforts of Joe Steiner who reconstituted our meetings through Zoom and Roz’s ability to adapt to the new format that the Club managed to remain largely intact.  So, a big thanks to both Roz and Evelyn for their leadership over the past two years and our congratulation to Eric on his appointment as the ‘centennial’ President.

Chief Eric Evers & Evelyn Davis
 
 

Dr. Roz Dorlen & Evelyn Davis


Beth McKenna, Jim Fleischmann, Joe Steiner, Mike Katz, Eric Evers, Evelyn Davis
Today, the Summit-New Providence Rotary awarded scholarships to six outstanding students from the Summit and New Providence high schools.

The SNP Rotary is currently in its centennial year (we began on 22 October 1922).  Since 1926, we have been awarding college scholarships to local area students - this is our 97th consecutive series of grants.  In addition to our scholarship program we have been involved in numerous other community based activities ranging from recognizing local residents and/or organizations for their contributions to the community to several international projects where we helped finance two educational facilities in southern India.  Currently, we supply specially designed dictionaries to all third-graders in both school districts and this year began a new project to provide all middle-schoolers with specially designed and annotated copies of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights to be used in concert with a newly mandated requirement by the state of New Jersey to teach civics to all middle school students.

Our scholarships are awarded on academic achievement, community service, extracurricular activities and financial need.

In attendance at today’s awards ceremony were David Miceli, superintendent of New Providence schools and the principal of the NPHS, Brian Henry, and Scott Hough, superintendent of Summit schools and the SHS principal, Stacy Grimaldi.  Each of the scholarship recipients were accompanied by a parent and each received a certificate of merit along with a tuition check made out to their respective college or university.  There were two special awards honoring the memory of two late Rotarians, Chandler Coddington and Wilbur Nelson.  Both men contributed significantly to their community over many decades.  Michael Katz, chair of the scholarship committee made the presentations.

The recipients, listed in alphabetical order are Amanda Brown - SHS & Boston College, Gwenevere DelJones - SHS & Rutgers University, Jessica Luo – SHS & Rutgers University, Natalie Peralta – SHS & Bowdoin College & recipient of the Wilbur Nelson award, Anthony Quesada – SHS & Drew University, and Kalina Kornacki – NPHS & Amherst College & recipient of the Chandler Coddington award.
We are proud to again be able to honor this year’s six outstanding students and wish them well as they begin their freshman year.
 

Dave Miceli, Brian Henry , Kalina , Gwen,  Amanda, Mike Katz, Jessica, Natalie, Anthony, Stacy Grimaldi, Scott Hough
 
 
We are delighted to report that a SNP Rotarian was one of the big winners in the 2022 District 7475 50/50 raffle.

Susan Haig, past president, purchased a winning ticket and named CivicStory.org, the 501c3 for which see is the founder, the designated recipient.  CivicStory advances solutions-based news about sustainability, civics, and equitable, healthy communities in New Jersey.  CivicStory will receive $10,548 which will go towards supporting operations.

The SNP Rotary sold 115 tickets at $20 per ticket for a total of $2300.  We received back $9.75 per ticket for a total of $1121.25 to be used to support our scholarships and other community programs.  This year 53 Clubs participated in the District raffle and the District returned over $50,000 to the Clubs and a similar amount to the winners – and fortunately, CivicStory is among them smiley!

The Lincoln Hubbard School sent a thank-you note from the school's librarian accompanied by fifty-six handwritten notes from the third-graders.  They are available for any Rotarian to view.

 
Sometimes events transpire in such a way as to almost preordain an outcome.  Such was the case with our newest undertaking for the benefit of our community.

On 31 January 2022, DG Shelby Rhodes visited the SNP Rotary.  She made a short presentation regarding the District and then held an open Q & A session.  Many things were discussed but one mention of a recent project undertaken by the Naples, FL Rotary resonated with several of us.  Naples, concerned about the growing ignorance of young Americans regarding civics, began distributing copies of the Constitution to school children in the City.  Many of us have commented on this topic and lamented that civics was no longer even being taught in NJ schools.  However, NJ lawmakers apparently were also reflecting on the same thing.  Then, in the wake of the 6 January 2021 insurrection, an obvious demonstration of Americans’ lack of civics awareness, the NJ Legislature passed S854 which makes civics instruction mandatory at the middle school level.  At our next Board meeting on 7 February 2022, it was proposed that we explore setting up  a “Constitution Project”.  There was unanimous approval.

We have partnered with the local schools for two decades to enhance elementary school students’ learning through our Dictionary Project where every third-grader in both Summit and New Providence receive a specially designed dictionary.  The teachers love the program for its instructional value and the kids simply love their dictionaries.  It was an easy jump to propose to both school superintendents a “Constitution Project” as a second effort at enhancing the curriculum, especially now that civics was mandated in the middle schools.  Both superintendents (both of whom are Rotarians) fully supported the program.
 
We immediately contacted Naples.  They had already partnered with Children’s Literary Publications to create and print a booklet which contained the Declaration of Independence, the full Constitution as well as some other teaching exercises, notable quotes and important dates and related facts.  We ordered 600 copies.  The were delivered five days later and subsequently distributed to the schools and the students.  This will now be an annual project.

Just another reason to be proud to be a Rotarian!
 
Here is a second reason to be proud to be a Rotarian - From the third-graders in Summit:

Please let the Rotary Club know how much the third-graders appreciate their new dictionaries.
This year I had them work in teams to locate information first in the back of the book. I call it a min-encyclopedia. They LOVED this. One question was to find the list of Big Words and figure out which movie is associated with one of the words. The answer is Mary Poppins. I bet you can guess the word. The second class they worked in groups again to learn how to use the dictionary part. It was fun to watch them say the alphabet multiple times in order to find a word. Thanks to the Rotary Club for supporting all the children in Summit Public Schools.

It was a busy day at Rotary.

We started, as usual, with our song accompanied by Susan Haig on the piano (acapella isn’t our forte – always sounds better with music).  We immediately moved to our long delayed inauguration of our new president.  Outgoing president Dr. Roz Dorlen thanked the many Rotarians that assisted her in her presidential year – a year like no other.  Roz never presided over an in-person meeting and never even got to ring the bell (she did, today).  Despite all the difficulties we encountered due to COVID, Roz had a most successful year – she oversaw regular weekly Zoom meetings, held a successful fund raiser, helped maintain the Club during the pandemic (along with much assistance from Joe Steiner who organized our zoom meetings, Melanie Cohn who took over as Club secretary, Peter Bolton who did an outstanding job as program chair and the other Board members, Mike Katz, Eric Evers, Don Steele, Evelyn Davis & Jim Fleischmann who offered council when needed).
 


Past President Roz (left) welcomes Incoming President Evelyn

Roz then handed the gavel to our incoming president, Evelyn Davis who said she was ready to assume her position and was looking forward to guiding the SNP Rotary towards fulfilling our goals of community service and even expanding our undertakings.  Evelyn then presented four Paul Harris awards, three of which were delayed due to the suspension of meetings because of the pandemic: receiving awards were past president Swati Goorha, past president Don Steele, past president Melanie Cohn, and Neela Pushparaj.

Finally, Joe Steiner introduced our speaker, Union County Commissioner Alexander Mirabella.  Al is also the chairman of the commissioners and probably the longest serving commissioner in New Jersey history – in his 24th year (and six time chairman).  There are roughly a half million residents in Union County divided into 21 municipalities. So, there is a lot going on.  Al touched on a few issues he felt were of import and that we should be aware of – the county reacted swiftly to the pandemic.  Early on, COVID testing was set up at Kean University and as soon as the mRNA vaccines were available, in January, Kean was the vaccine site.  We were the first county to have over 50% vaccinated.  The county is now offering mobile vaccinations for those who are unable to travel.  The county also addressed issues of food insecurity and set up a special $16.7 million fund to assist residents with mortgage and rent payments for those effected by job losses, etc., due to the pandemic. The county maintained its AAA bond rating, and, for the second year, had no tax increases.  Closer to Summit/NP, the Morris Ave bridge to the “rails to trail” project is on tap as is an experimental effort to revitalize the Bryant Park Pond.  Al opened the floor for questions.  There were many.  One item stood out – the closing of the county jail.  Bail reform reduced the occupancy significantly and it was decided to share facilities with Essex County.  Al noted that no dangerous people were released into the community – rigid tests are applied before release.  This move saved the county over $20M a year.

As in the past, Commissioner Mirabella was most informative and generous with his time.  We appreciate his presentation and hope to see him again at a future date
Today, we met in person for the first time since 9 March 2020!

For the time being, we are meeting at Christ Church, 561 Springfield Ave in Summit.  Lunch was catered by Zappia’s - it was delicious and there were enough leftovers to fill many doggie bags.  About one half of the members were in attendance, but at least ten members were unable to attend due to prior conflicts and other sundry issues.

The room we were in has a grand piano and we are fortunate to have a master pianist, maestro Susan Haig, who played while we sang our SNP Rotary anthem and happy birthday to Joe Steiner (who tried to hide the fact it was his birthday, but he was outed).

We met, not on Zoom, but in person, two new members, Adenilson Franczak & Leigh DelPorto.  Leigh works for M&T Bank and Adenilson, who just became an American citizen, is a Brazilian transplant.

Christie Hodde won the 50/50 and breaking all SNP Rotary rules donated her winnings to the scholarship fund.  Speaking of the scholarship fund, Happy Sad dollars generated a recent, if not all time, record collection of $330 – there were a lot of Happy Rotarians – probably had something to do with not meeting on Zoom and being able to schmooze again.

We also had a great speaker, Jon Bramnick, assemblyman for the 21st district of New Jersey.  Jon is the Republican leader of the NJ assembly and well known as a raconteur.  Jon chose to talk about a serious subject he knew was on everyone’s mind, discourse amidst political polarization. He said it was possible to have dialogue but only if there were willing participants which he believes there are – it’s just tricky and requires a lot of effort to keep channels open.  He also said having two viable parties is essential to prevent really bad legislation which usually originates from the far sides of either party and if one party is totally dominant, the legislation can pass even if the vast majority of delegates know it is bad legislation.  He annotated his presentation with several amusing (and a few not so amusing) anecdotes about various topics ranging from gerrymandering to the power of ‘political bosses’ (they exist).  We had a robust Q&A session and Jon was responsive to all questions, as he always has been at his past visits to Rotary.  We appreciate the generous amount of time Jon spent with us.

We will reassemble in two weeks and hope to see those who couldn’t attend today.
 
With great pleasure, today, the Summit/New Providence Rotary Club awarded its ninety-sixth consecutive series of college scholarships to six deserving students from the Summit and New Providence high schools.

Despite COVID and the inability of the Club to hold a single in-person meeting since March 2020, we managed to hold a successful fund raiser in April and raise additional funds through generous donations from many of our members.
 
In attendance, and of special mention, at today’s Zoom Rotary meeting were: Scott Hough, Superintendent of Summit School, Dave Miceli, Superintendent of New Providence School (and SNP Rotarian), Stacy Grimaldi, Principal, Summit High School (SHS), Brian Henry, Principal, NPHS, Laura Kaplan, Director of Counseling, SHS, Nathan Parker, past Superintendent of Summit Schools (and SNP Rotarian) and Clara Coddington.

SNP Rotary President, Dr. Roz Dorlen, introduced the co-heads of the scholarship committee, Mike Katz and John (Jay) Leatherbee, who then introduced the scholarship recipients.  The awards were presented in alphabetical order.

Ms. Hannah Allocco, SHS, was the first recipient.  She will attend the Mason Gross school of Arts at Rutgers University and plans to work towards an BFA.

Ms. Sarah Brennan, SHS, was awarded the Wilbur Nelson scholarship and will attend Rutgers University.

Ms. Lindsay Kinum, SHS, was awarded the Chan & Linda Coddington scholarship and will  attend Boston College.  Clara Coddington, daughter of Chan & Linda, was present and offered her congratulations to Lindsay and all the recipients and thanked the Rotary for its continuing dedication to supporting deserving scholars in the Summit/NP area.

Ms. Gabriella Merino, SHS, was awarded the next scholarship and she will attend Quinnipiac University.

Mr. Alejandro Nociari, SHS, was awarded a scholarship and will attend Cornell.  Alejandro is an EMT volunteer and plans to study pre-med.

Mr. William Zipf, NPHS, was awarded the Bud Smith scholarship.  William is also an EMT volunteer and will attend Drew as a pre-med student.

There were congratulatory comments from many of the audience including Dave Miceli, Stacy Grimaldi, Scott Hough, Nathan Parker, Vito Gallo, Laura Kaplan, Evelyn Davis and President Roz.

The SNP Rotary is proud to continue our long tradition of assisting our future leaders as they pursue their goals through higher education.
By: James Fleischmann

Today we had the pleasure of installing Dr. Roz Dorlen into the position of President, Summit/New Providence Rotary.  Roz will be the 97th Rotarian to hold this position since the Club’s founding in October 1922.  Outgoing President, Rev. Don Steele, digitally passed the gavel to Roz during a Zoom meeting also attended by District Governor Ray Freaney and District Governor elect, Ann Walko as well as many members of the SNP Club.

Kudos to Don for a successful year and for maintaining the Club’s continuity by championing and supporting Club Secretary Joe Steiner’s efforts to move to a digital format. 

We thank Don for his year of service in this most unusual of times and offer Roz our support and best wishes as she moves the Club into another year of uncharted waters.

                                                               
                                                                           Roz Dorlen

Today, the Summit/New Providence Rotary Club proudly celebrated its 95th consecutive year of awarding college/university scholarships to outstanding high school students from New Providence and Summit.  This was also a first for the SNP Rotary as the presentation of the awards was made in a digital meeting using Zoom.

SNP President Don Steele introduced Mike Katz, co-chair with Jay Leatherbee, of the Scholarship Committee which selected the recipients.  Mike then had the honor of introducing the superintendent of the New Providence Public Schools and a fellow Rotarian, Dr. David Miceli, who introduced the principal of the NPHS, Lauren Zirpoli.  Ms. Zirpoli then introduced our first recipient, William Leo Mormile, who was awarded the Chan and Jane Coddington memorial scholarship.  Leo will attend the College of New Jersey, where he will study music education.

Mike then introduced Robert Gardella, acting superintendent of the Summit Public Schools, who in turn introduced Stacy Grimaldi, principal of the Summit High School.  Ms. Grimaldi introduced the recipients of scholarships from SHS.  Isaiah Shakir was awarded the Wilbur Nelson memorial scholarship.  Isaiah will attend Seton Hall in the fall and plans to major in chemistry.  Michael Bermudez was awarded the Bud Smith memorial scholarship.  Michael, who emigrated from Colombia at age eleven, will attend Rutgers in the fall to study biochemistry and hopes to pursue a career in medical research.  Julissa Lopez was our next recipient.  Julissa will attend Monmouth University, where she plans to study healthcare/kinesiology.  Andy Toxtle was our final recipient.  Andy will attend Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, where he plans to study art and graphic design.

The SNP Rotary has been awarding grants to deserving young scholars from our local schools since 1926.  The awards are based on four criteria: academics, extra-curricular activities, community involvement and financial need.  We have never missed a year, not during the great depression or World War II, and had no intention of being impacted by a global pandemic in 2020. 

We present the named scholarships to honor past Rotarians who have exhibited outstanding public service to the community.  This year’s scholarships honored Wilbur Nelson, Watson “Bud” Smith, and Chandler Coddington.  Wilbur, Bud, and Chan all served the community in multiple ways – through volunteering with many, many non-profit services, holding elected office, and through numerous generous donations.  Each one of these Rotarians has exemplified Rotary’s primary tenet: Service Above Self.  Members of the Smith, Nelson and Coddington families were present to observe today’s awards ceremony.

The Rotary would like to thank Mike Katz, Jay Leatherbee, Roger Mehner, Peter Bolton and Beth McKenna for serving on the scholarship committee and undertaking the considerable work required to vet all the applicants and make the final selection of the recipients.

And lastly, all the Rotarians want to wish our 2020 scholarship recipients our congratulations for earning these grants and for long and productive careers in their chosen fields and hope that they will always keep in mind Rotary’s basic tenet – Service Above Self.

Chandler (Chan) passed away on 16 November.

In addition to being an active Rotarian for many decades, Chan was a true pillar of our community. Among the many, many civic projects and organizations he actively supported were the Summit YMCA, the Overlook Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, the Morris Union Jointure Commission, the Autism Educational Foundation and the Reeves Reed Arboretum. Chan was always generous with both his time and his financial support. In addition to his community support activities, Chan had a successful 50 year career in the insurance industry as well as several lucrative venture capital endeavors.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Marco Polo Restaurant, 527 Morris Ave., Summit, from 1 to 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rotary Club of Summit-New Providence, Scholarship Fund, 34 Ridgedale Ave., Summit, N.J. 07901 (or the non-profit of your choice).

 

 

Today, about twenty SNP Rotarians affixed 530 labels to as many dictionaries which were then distributed to all the third grade students in both the Summit and New Providence public schools.

The New Providence schools received 200 books and the Summit schools, 330.

The rotary has been supporting the Dictionary Project for over twenty years. The dictionaries are specifically designed to be used by students in the age range of 8 to tens years old. The teachers love the project. The dictionaries are a great teaching tool because in addition to the traditional word definitions, there are maps, statistics, many lists such as Presidents of the US and other items designed to appeal to third graders.

A special thank you to Lauren Nisenson and Jay Leatherbee who assisted in transporting to the Hotel for labeling and then distribution to the schools.


Melanie Cohn, Mort O'Shea, President Don Steele, Jim Fleischmann & Ron Hutchinson

Today was scholarship Monday, and for the 94th consecutive year, the Summit/New Providence Rotary Club presented scholarships to six outstanding students from Summit High School and New Providence High School.

This year’s scholarship committee was headed by John Leatherbee. Committee members included Mike Katz, Roger Mehner, Swati Goorha and Peter Bolton. The committee reviewed thirty-eight applications from the two schools and culled the list down to the final six recipients. In addition to the three thousand-dollar scholarships, two special one thousand-dollar awards were added in honor of two Rotarians who recently passed away and were stalwarts of the Club: Watson “Bud” Smith and Wilbur Nelson. Bud was a 1949 graduate of Summit High, ran a successful electrical contracting business and among his many civic activities, served as president of Summit City Council. Wilbur was a US Navy veteran participating in the D-Day landings in Normandy as well as other theatres in WWII. He returned from the war to become a teacher in Summit and eventually principal of the Brayton Elementary school for the final thirty years of his teaching career. Both men were past Rotary Presidents, Paul Harris Fellows and recipients of numerous awards and recognitions from their community for public service – they typified the core value of Rotary: Service Above Self.

June Chang, Superintendent of the Summit Public Schools and Stacy Grimaldi, Principal of SHS, presented the scholarships to the four Summit HS students: Shah Faizan Alam, attending NJ Institute of Technology, LaShanti Starr Brown-Womack, attending William Patterson Univ., Evan White, attending the College of New Jersey. Sarah Flaherty received the Wilbur Nelson scholarship and will attend Fordham University.

David Miceli, Superintendent of the NP Public Schools and Lauren Zirpoli, Principal of NPHS, presented the scholarships to the two NPHS recipients: Justin Mathew Sullivan will attend Richmond University, and Julie Gertie received the Bud Smith scholarship and will attend Boston University.

A heartfelt congratulation to our scholars and to the scholarship committee that spent countless hours in the selection process.
 


Mr. Chang, Ms Grimaldi, Mr. Alam, Mr. White, Ms Flaherty, Ms Gertie, Mr. Sullivan, Ms Brown-Womack, Ms Zirpoli, Dr. Miceli

 
We recently received the below letter from the Dictionary Project which the SNP Rotary has supported for about fifteen years.  Check out the last paragraph to see our impact on our community and the Rotary's impact on the Country.



Today we celebrated our 93rd consecutive ‘Scholarship Monday’.

In attendance were our six recipients as well as several proud parents. Also present were Summit School Superintendent, June Chang, New Providence School Superintendent Dave Miceli, Summit HS Principal, Stacy Grimaldi and NPHS Assistant Principal, Brian Henry.

This year’s recipients are Michelle Leung, NPHS, attending RPI, Anthony Cusumano, SHS, attending Lehigh, Hamail Iqbal, SHS and recipient of the Wilber Nelson scholarship, attending Rutgers, Tatyana Lewis, SHS, attending West Virginia U., Steve Molina, SHS and recipient of the Bud Smith scholarship, attending Princeton, and Keyshawn Reese, SHS, attending Montclair State.

These awards are based on academic achievement, community service as well as financial need. The Rotary is proud to recognize the outstanding qualities each of this year’s recipients have demonstrated over the past four years and we wish you well as you move on to the next phase of your education – congrats!
 




From left to right: SNP Rotary President, Melanie Cohn, Keyshawn Reese, Anthony Cusumano, Tatyana Lewis, Michelle Leung, Hamail Iqbal & Steve Molina

This evening, Susan Haig passed her Presidential Baton to the incoming President, Melonie Franklin Cohn.

Susan took a few moments to review her year which included several significant accomplishments: a new, successful fund-raiser, the Vocal Showcase, a very successful Citizen of the Year awards banquet, where SNP Rotary honored the 17 librarians from our two towns, our first off-site evening meeting, and a profitable “Dollars for Scholars” 50/50 raffle. In addition, we added eight new members. Susan noted how she had partnered with Melanie from the start of her year, guaranteeing continuity when Melanie assumed the Presidency.

Susan then presented past President, Reagan Burkholder, with his Paul Harris award and he presented Susan with her “Past President’s” pin.

Finally, Melanie briefly spoke and pledged to build on the work she and Susan undertook, and told the Rotarians she would work with the following year’s president, Ellen Dickson, to a assure continuity of purpose and programs.

There were about twenty five Rotarians and guests, and as in the past, there was plenty of good fellowship accompanied by good food and drink. If you don’t attend these events, you’re missing one of our nicer gatherings.


Susan presents past President Reagan with a Paul Harris Award

Susan passes the "Presidential Baton" to Melanie

On Monday, 13 June, the SNP Rotary awarded $21,000 in scholarships to seven deserving seniors from three of the area’s high schools.  The awards ceremony was held at the Grand Summit Hotel and was attended by about fifty Rotarians, the scholarship recipients and members of their families.  Rotary President, Reagan Burkholder and Scholarship Committee Chair, Ellen Dickson, emceed the program.  In addition to awarding the scholarships, we also held the drawing for our annual Dollars for Scholars 50/50 Raffle which awarded three prizes.  The Raffle garnered slightly over $10,000, with half the proceeds going to the three winners and the other half, into our scholarship fund.  The Rotary congratulates all our scholarship recipients as well as the winners of our raffle.  Our scholarship program began in 1926 and is now in its 91st consecutive year.  We remain proud to invest in the futures of our local seniors as they pursue their undergraduate degrees.

Pictured below are five of the seven scholarship recipients:

From left to right: Reagan Burkholder, Rotary President, Samantha Hanley, SHS, winner of the Bud Smith Award, U of Indiana; Lorik Berisha, NPHS, Rutgers; John Berardi, SHS, College of New Jersey; Ife Campbell, SHS, U of New Haven; Juliana Nociara, SHS, winner of the Walter Eddy Award, NYU; Ellen Dickson, Scholarship Committee Chair.  Not pictured are Aila Poticano, SHS, Rutgers and Cindy Weng, Union County Magnet School, NYU.

Click on the “read more” button to the lower left of this screen to view more pictures of the event.

Dave Miceli, Superintendant of New Providence Schools addresses the audience.

June Chang, Superintendant of the Summit Schools, addresses the audience

President Burkholder opens the Awards Ceremony

Today’s speaker, Rabbi Hannah Orden talked about her passage towards becoming a rabbi, as someone raised in a secular household, being a female, and ultimately choosing this path as a second career after being a teacher, actor and writer.  She spoke of being a life-long “seeker” who felt the need to reconnect with her Jewish heritage after experiencing a traumatic event involving the tragic death of a seven year old student in the school where she was teaching and having to deal with the inevitable explanations required of her by her students and even other faculty members.  Many years after this incident, she eventually had the opportunity to undertake the rigorous five year course of training needed to become a rabbi and was ordained in 2010.  In 2014, she accepted her current position and described her desire to “. . . build communities where people can make connections with each other, with Torah, and with the divine spark in each of us and in the world.”  The Rabbi offered an interesting portrayal of her journey to Summit, and Rotary welcomes Rabbi Orden to the community.

Today’s speaker was Julia Phelps, Director, Rotary International, representing North America, Russia, France (by a fluke of island geography) and Bermuda.

Julia began her career in education in 1976, and is currently the associate commissioner for the Center for Curriculum and Instruction for the state of Massachusetts. She served on the board of the Amesbury Educational Foundation, Inc. and the John Ashford Link House Inc.

A Rotarian since 1997, Phelps has served Rotary as Rotary Foundation alumni coordinator and district governor. She is a Major Donor, Benefactor, multiple Paul Harris Fellow, and a member of the Bequest Society, and a recipient of The Rotary Foundation's Citation for Meritorious Service.

Julia related several anecdotes from her global travels for Rotary including how local villagers in the Philippines look for creative ways to expand membership and how Rotarians in Pottsville, Pennsylvania created a “human school bus” to walk children to the local schools, safely, after the community could no longer afford to provide busing service – as always, SERVICE ABOVE SELF.

Of special note, this weekly Rotary meeting was one of the largest ever held in Union County.  We had 105 guest Rotarians from 15 clubs in addition to the SNP Rotarians, roughly 130, in all.

Many thanks to the volunteers who made this event go off without a hitch.

 

 

Jim Kellogg passed away on New Year’s Eve – surrounded by his family.  He was a long time (twenty years) and valued member of the SNP Rotary.  In addition to being involved in many community and charitable endeavors, some of the more noteworthy being President of the Community Foundation of New Jersey and President of the J.C. Kellogg Foundation, he was from time to time a special benefactor to our Club (always surreptitiously  – but one impact which must be noted was his generous establishment of our 501c3 fund within the CFNJ, seeded with a $5000 grant) .  Jim had a deep and abiding interest in community and local politics and generously shared his knowledge and often gave insightful and illuminating presentations on the political goings on in Union County and New Jersey. 

Jim was a graduate of Pingry, Princeton and Harvard Law and a partner in the NYC law firm of Townley & Updike.  He also served on many, many non-profit boards. 

A memorial service will be held on Friday, Jan. 8, at 12 noon, at Short Hills Community Congregational Church, 200 Hartshorn Dr., with a lunch to follow at the Short Hills Club at 144 Highland Ave.

We offer our condolences to Jim’s wife, Gail, and his three children, Jimmy, Kate and Elizabeth, and brothers Peter, Kelly and Rusty.

The SNP Rotary will miss our friend, Jim.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
By: James Fleischmann

During November, the majority of our speakers were Rotarians.  This week, Vito Gallo, retired head of the Summit Housing Authority as well as Paul Harris Fellow and past SNP Rotary President, discussed the major program Summit undertook in the seventies and eighties to redevelop a substantial swath of land near the center of town which transformed the City’s footprint and resulted in, essentially, a slum clearance project that replaced dilapidated dwellings (both commercial and residential) with modern housing which maintained the social fabric of the residents displaced and allowed for substantial development of new businesses as well as a major senior housing facility, one of the largest and most successful in the State.  Vito presented a fascinating history of both Summit’s last century and its municipal evolution, and his large part in it.  Thank you, Vito, for being a good steward of your City.

Mayoral Candidates Address the Rotarians
Monday, October 19, 2015
By: James Fleischmann

Today we had presentations by the two candidates running for Mayor of Summit. 

Mayor Ellen Dickson, the Republican candidate and running for a second term, led off by presenting her platform and reviewing her past tenure.  The Mayor then fielded questions.

Nora Radest, the Democratic candidate, then presented her platform and also fielded questions.

Both candidates bring impressive credentials to the contest and the Rotarians appreciate the presentations.

SNP Rotarians learn of advances in brain surgery
Monday, June 29, 2015
By: James Fleischmann

Monday’s speaker was Dr. Yaron Moshel, M.D., PhD., with Atlantic Health.

Dr. Moshel made a fascinating presentation on the current state of neurological surgery.  He showed how the tremendous advances in tomography through MRIs, ultrasound, etc., have allowed surgeons to operate with accuracy unimaginable twenty years ago.  Tumors in the brain, inoperable as recent as a decade ago can now be treated.  In addition, the heightened accuracy makes these procedures much safer with considerably less likelihood of collateral damage to surrounding brain tissue.

He also described how some surgeries are conducted “awake” allowing the surgeon to better assess procedures while operating.  New techniques were also described such as doing deep brain surgery by entering the brain through the nasal cavity, thereby having greater access with considerably less intrusive damage to the skull. 

Finally, Dr. Moshel discussed cutting edge techniques such as radio surgery (the Cyber-Knife) and advances in chemotherapy which involve harnessing the body’s immune system (immunotherapy) to combat some tumors.

Dr. Moshel then took questions – there were many.  All in all, a most interesting and informative presentation, and much appreciated by the Rotarians.

 

Burkholder Succeeds Fleischmann as SNP President
Friday, June 26, 2015

On Thursday, 25 June 2015, Reagan Burkholder was installed as the new President of the Summit/New Providence Rotary. 

In the annual ceremony, retiring President, Jim Fleischmann, presented his predecessesor, Christy Hodde, a Paul Harris Award in honor of her excellent service as President for the fiscal year, 2013/14.  Reagan then presented Jim with the traditional Past Presidents lapel pin.

In a short presentation, Reagan pledged to build on the work started by Hodde and Fleischmann, noting that the Club had regained momentum with increasing membership and community based service projects.

There was good food, good wine and lots of good fellowship amongst the Rotarians - an enjoyable evening for all those who attended.

    Past Presedent Christy Hodde receives Paul Harris Award

Outgoing President Jim Fleischmann receives "Past President's Pin"

 

Scholarship Monday - our 90th!
Monday, June 15, 2015
By: James Fleischmann

Today, Monday, 15 June 2015, the Summit/New Providence Rotary awarded its 90th consecutive series of scholarships to local high school scholars.  This year we selected six outstanding students from Summit High School, New Providence High School and the Union County Magnet School for Math and Science.

In addition to the Rotarians, which included Superintendent of the Summit Public Schools, June Chang, Superintendent of the New Providence Public Schools, Dr. David Miceli and Mayor Ellen Dickson, the  attendees included Paul Sears, principal of SHS, John Richter, Assistant Principal of NPHS, many parents, and one prior scholarship recipient, Claudia Kosiecki (2013), brother of Zachary, a 2015 recipient.

To see all of the recipients of our scholarships, going back to 1926, click on "Our Scholarships", under "Club Links", on the left column of this page.

 

In the front row, from the left, Claudia Hanley, SHS - Stanford University and next to Claudia, Ruth Kim, SHS - Drew University.

In the back row, from the left, Alan Payne, NPHS - University of Virginia; Zachary Kosiecki, NPHS - Rutgers University; John Stombous - Union County Magnet School - University of California @ Berkeley and Jared Chang, SHS - Cornell.  Jared Chang was awarded the Bud Smith Memorial scholarship and Claudia Hanley was awarded the Walter Eddy Memorial scholarship.

Chris Cotter reviews his tenure as City Administrator
Monday, May 18, 2015
By: James Fleischmann

Our speaker today was Chris Cotter, City Administrator for Summit, NJ.

 Chris will be retiring next month after 39 years of service beginning at the Fire Department in 1976, where he started as an eighteen year old in the dispatch office and eventually rising to the rank of Chief of the Force.  After an interim position in public works, Chris assumed the position of City Administrator in 2005.  He reviewed his tenure with the City of Summit and touched on the many changes he has seen in his four decades of service covering such topics as advances in the efficiencies of the Fire and Police Departments to the most recent innovation of shared dispatch between Summit, Milburn and New Providence for emergency services.  He also discussed the numerous people who influenced his career over the years and his great appreciation to many of the City’s leaders (several of whom were in the audience), both elected officials as well as administrative.

 The Rotary wants to thank Chris for his many years of outstanding service to the community and offer our best wishes in his future undertakings.

 

Sherriff Joseph Cryan addresses Rotary
Monday, April 27, 2015
By: James Fleischmann

 Our speaker on Monday, 27 April, was newly elected Sherriff of Union County, Joseph Cryan.

 The Sherriff served as administrative undersheriff for eleven years before running for the top spot in November, 2014, following the death of Ralph Froehlich who served as Sherriff for well over three decades.

 In addition to serving as undersheriff, Sherriff Cryan was also a member of the NJ General Assembly, where he represented the 20th district for six terms.  He served one term as Majority Leader of the Assembly and chaired over a dozen committees during his tenure.

 The Sherriff described the primary duties of the Office as providing for the safety and security of the Union County Court facility in Elizabeth along with assisting the Department of Homeland Security, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Domestic Violence Joint Task Force, and the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force in their activities. As Sherriff, Mr. Cryan intends to carry on much of the work already in progress, but noted there was room for improvements.  He explained the Jail alone has a budget of about $56MM and will look for ways to run the facility more efficiently including the possibility of transferring some prisoners to the Hudson County facility, where space is available.  High on his to-do list is the support for prisoner re-entry programs in the area.  The Sherriff pointed out it costs the County over $50K/yr. to house a prisoner and an effective re-entry system, if it can lower the recidivism rate, can save the community substantial funds.  He noted keeping costs down is a significant part of his job.

 On Saturday morning, two shifts of Rotarians from our District volunteered to sort and package food for distribution to a variety of sites in the areas served by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

For many of us this was our first exposure to this operation's huge 285,000 square foot facility located in Hillside, NJ.  This enormous facility is one of six statewide units collecting and distributing over 43 million pounds of food within the State, annually.  The food is distributed to over 1000 non-profit programs in addition to another 400 programs served by partner organizations which results in supplying needed nutrients to 900,000 New Jersians.

The operation is well coordinated and able to efficiently use volunteers. 

As a Club, we have discussed dedicating a Monday to a service project instead of a regular lunch.  Management at CFBNJ informed us they are set up for this type of volunteer effort.  We could work from 12:30 to 2:00pm and they would supply a lite lunch. There is also a potential to involve the Key Club in this program.  We’ll discuss possibilities at our next Board meeting – comments are welcome.

 

 
 

 Fellow Rotarian, Nathan Parker, who will retire on 28 February, reviewed his seven year tenure as Superintendent of the Summit Public Schools.

 Nathan felt it has been a privilege to work here and had high praise for the District, faculty and in particular, the system that allows the Mayor to appoint the Board for up to three, two year terms.  This almost guarantees not having “single issue” members and facilitates seating a diverse compliment of members.  Also, he noted the Board was extremely well informed and fully engaged in planning and managing the strategic direction of the System.

 Mayor Dickson added her cheers to Nathan for a job well done and as someone who it was a pleasure to work with.

 Finally, President Jim presented Nathan with the Paul Harris Fellow Award for his substantial contributions in education and for facilitating a strong and harmonious working relationship between Rotary and the Schools.

 All the best, Nathan.

 Last night, at the Grand Summit Hotel, about 100 well-wishers honored Joe Steiner, past president, Paul Harris Fellow, and "secretary for life" of the Summit/New Providence Rotary, for his forty years of service to the community.  In what the Rotary hopes will become a tradition, Joe received the Club’s first 'Citizen of the Year' award. 

 Joe received proclamations of recognition from the City of Summit, County of Union, State of New Jersey, as well as a Congressional Citation and a commemorative flag flown over the Capitol.  In addition, a special award from Rotary was presented to Joe and reads as follows:

 To our friend and colleague, Joe Steiner: 


 Over the course of four decades, you have given capable, imaginative, steady and selfless service in all your professional and volunteer undertakings.

You embody the best qualities of community-minded citizenship.

In recognition of this, the Summit/New Providence Rotary is proud and privileged to present you with the
Club’s first “Citizen of the Year” award.

 It was a great evening and the SNP Rotary would like to deeply thank all participants who attended and especially all those who donated so generously to our scholarship fund ( we raised close to $10,000), allowing us to continue offering financial assistance to deserving seniors from both the Summit and the New Providence High Schools.

 Attached is a more detailed account as reported in The Alternative Press - http://tapinto.net/towns/new-providence/articles/joe-steiner-honored-as-rotarys-citizen-of-the-ye and a YouTube video of the highlights of the evening - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1ntsJDJRew&feature=em-uploademail

 Father (102) & Son (younger)

Pastor Harrield reviews the Wallace Chapel
Monday, January 5, 2015
By: James Fleischmann

Today's speaker was the Reverend Dr. Denison D. Harrield Jr., Pastor of the Wallace Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church.

Pastor Harrield discussed the history of the African Methodist Episcopalian denomination from its inception in the early 1800s and the opening of the Wallace Chapel in Summit, in 1935-37.  He discussed the Chapel’s second Pastor, Rev. Dr. Florence S. Randolph, who had a remarkable journey from South Carolina to New Jersey where she not only oversaw the Chapel but was a major force in the women’s suffragette movement as well as a respected leader in the State.

Pastor Harrield served as an intelligence officer in the USAF for eight years after graduating from Howard University in 1964.  He then spent 18 years with NY Telephone as a district manager but also received a divinity degree from NY Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1978.  In 1989, he became the Pastor on the Chapel. 

Pastor Denison has a long and impressive history of service in the local community.  Some of his associations include the Summit Housing Authority, SAGE, Summit Interfaith Council, the Boy Scouts, American Legion and the Rotary.

In 2007, Pastor Harrield succeeded in gaining historical registry for the Chapel.

Don Jay Smith Discusses NJ's 350th Anniversary
 

 Don Jay Smith, long-time specialist in many things New Jersey, and Executive Director of the NJ Hall of fame and committee member for NJ’s 350th year celebration, spoke about the State’s 350th Anniversary and the three primary themes being emphasized: Innovation, Diversity and Liberty.  It came as a surprise to no one that NJ was a leader in many, many technical areas, from dozens of ground breaking inventions at Bell labs, new medications and life saving devices from our many pharmaceutical enterprises, to the many accomplishments from Edison’s labs at Menlo Park.  Also discussed were the dozens of notable achievers from entertainers to politicians to educators who came from NJ, and finally, the State’s broad diversity, representing nearly every faction of the human community.  Perhaps, the most interesting (and unsettling) fact to emerge form Don’s talk was the fact  NJ was actually the last state in the North to fully abolish slavery, in 1865, two years after the passage of the emancipation proclamation.  The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session.

For the 89th consecutive year, The Rotary Club of Summit/New providence has awarded its annual scholarships to outstanding high school seniors from both Summit High School and New Providence High School.

Chairman of the Scholarship Committee, Vito Gallo, presided over the awards to this year's seven recipients.  The ceremony was well attended by the Rotarians, the scholars, many parents and the superindendants of both Summit and New Providence schools, Dr Nathan Parker & Dr Dave Miceli.  Also in attendance were the principals of the high schools, Paul Sears and Lauren Zirpoli.

Congratulations to our seven outstanding scholars.

 

 

L to R: Clare Flanagan, Kirsten Peterson, Loren Sormani, Daniel Restrepo, Angelica Trindade, Michael Le, Catherine Canete

About Our Club

We meet In Person
Mondays at 12:15 PM
Christ Church
561 Springfield Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
United States of America
Phone:
(908) 337-9536
Alternating Mondays - Please verify before visiting
Club Executives & Directors
President
Secretary
Treasurer
Membership
Immediate Past President
Rotary Foundation