OUR DISTRICT GOVERNOR
 
District 7490 Governor 
Peter R. Wells
District Governor Home Club: 
 
Stories
Amani Moshen, who will assume the leadership of District 7490’s Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program this spring, 
speaking of the relocation of this year’s from Indian Head Camp in Honesdale, Pa. to New Jersey City University in Jersey City. Listening is
Dr. Gregory S. Liss, who will mentor the program over the next two years.
 
Dr. Gregory S. Liss, a member of the Passaic Valley/Little Falls Rotary Club and the coordinator of the District’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards  (RYLA)
program, introduced Amani Moshen, who, he said, will assume the leadership of the program while he serves as a mentor of the program for the next two years.
 
Noting that she is an alumna of the program, having participated in it as a high school student in 1999, Amani announced that the program will undergo changes, with this year’s program taking place at New Jersey City University in Jersey City on June 26 – 29. The program has previously been conducted in the first week of June at Indian Head Camp in Honesdale, Pa.
 
 
The then District Governor Bonnie F. Sirower speaking at a White House conference of Champions of Change on April 5, 2013, at which she was one of the honorees.
Bonnie was flanked on her left by Nancy Sanford Hughes and on her right by Thomas Barnes, both of who were also honored.
 
Past District Governor Bonnie Sirower (District Governor in 2012-13) was recently named by the Zone 32 RI Membership Coordinator to become one of the Rotary International Zone 32 Membership Assistant Coordinators. Beginning in July of 2016, and continuing until June 30 of 2019, Sirower will assist Districts 7410, 7430, 7450 and 7390, all in Pennsylvania, in attracting new members and engaging those who are already Rotarians. Sirower will attend training for this new role at RI headquarters in Evanston next month.
 
Sirower first joined the Paterson Rotary Club in 1989 and served as its President in 1996-97. She served as our District Governor in 2012-13, and worked with our current DG Peter Wells, in implementing a multi-district project to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy. A multiple Paul Harris fellow and member of the RI Foundation Bequest Society, Sirower was honored in 2009 with the RI Service Above Self Award. In April of 2013, she was honored at the White House as a Rotary White House Champion of Change. For the past three years, Sirower has co-chaired our District's Halloween Against Hunger food packaging project with PDG Dan Shiver, attracting more than 300 people each time to help feed the hungry in our area. She also serves as Marketing Coordinator for Rotary Leadership Institute Northeast America.
 
 
Nikki Mederos is announced as the 62nd District Governor serving in 2018
 
District Governor Peter Wells announced on December 15 that Niurka “Nikki” Mederos, a member of the North Hudson Rotary Club, has been selected to serve as the District’s 62nd Governor in July, 2018. In announcing her selection at this month’s District Staff Meeting, Governor Peter expressed pride in the District’s Rotarians, noting that almost all governors are selected from people who have served on the District staff level, with Nikki now serving as chairwoman of the District’s Rotary Leadership Institute and as an Assistant Governor.
 
Governor Peter noted that this year, 140 Rotarians from the 52 clubs of Bergen, Hudson and Passaic Counties are serving as members of the District Staff. Governor Peter expressed confidence in Nikki’s ability to serve as Governor, noting her own qualifications as well as the training she will receive over the next 30 months. Speaking briefly upon her introduction, Nikki responded to a question that Governor Peter said is almost always posed to future governors - “Are you ready for this?” by saying that while she is not now, she will be by the time she does become Governor. She described herself as being “honored” and “humbled” by her selection.
 

 
  
Paterson Rotary and Manchester Regional HS Interact Clubs Provide Gifts to Pre‐K Children
 
On Monday, December 21, 10 Rotarians from the Paterson Rotary Club and 20 Interact students from our Manchester Regional HS joined Santa (Rotarian Jim Killian) at School 14 on Union Street in Paterson to distribute warm coats, toys and Christmas stockings to 264 children. Children in Grades K-2 all received coats donated by PDG Raj Bhatia, the Northern Valley Rotary Club, staff at the Glen Rock Post Office and many Paterson Rotarians. Hundreds of people also donated toys and stocking stuffers, especially PDG Joe Dino. President-Elect John Susani and Rotarian Roberta Farber organized the toy collection. PDG Bonnie Sirower directed the project with the help of Sue Amoresano. When we came into the school, one of the kids shouted. “Yay! The Rotary Club is here!” Little faces lit up with joy as they received their gifts. We called the whole project “Service Above Elf.” 
 

 
 
The Walter D. Head Foundation is our district’s charitable foundation. It was named for Walter D. Head, a former member of the Teaneck Rotary Club and who later became the President of Rotary International in 1939-1940. The purpose of the foundation is to award educational scholarships and to support special projects throughout Rotary District 7490. Recently, the District Foundation formed the Rotary Military Family Assistance Center to provide services to the families of active service men and women. 
 
To continue to grow and support the Walter D. Head Foundation, we are planning a golf outing on May 10, 2016 at Ballyowen Golf Course. This event is open to all Rotarians and their guests. Please mark your calendars and Save the Date. We look forward to seeing you at this wonderful event.
 

 
Pictured: PRID Ray Wells, DRFCC Suraj Bhatia, RID Julia Phelps, DG Peter Wells, RI President K.R. Ravindran
 
 
On Tuesday, November 10, Rotarians from District 7490 and Zone 32 gathered to welcome Rotary International President K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran. President Ravi and District Governor Peter Wells recognized and awarded over 40 Rotarians in 7490 who have completed at least 40 years of service toward humanity. All funds raised at the evening's event have been donated to the Rotary International Foundation.   
 
 
Click "Read More" for a complete list of Honorees.
 
 
 
 
Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran, addressing the opening session of the annual Rotary Day at the United Nations observance on November 7 at United Nations headquarters in New York. PDG Joseph Laureni, Rotary International’s Primary Representative in New York to the U.N.; can be seen to Mr. Ravindran’s right. 
 
The United Nations and Rotary International this month joined in their annual observance of Rotary Day at the United Nations. With more than 1,500 people participating in a day-long program at United Nations Headquarters on Nov. 7, Rotarians, led by Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran, joined officials of the United Nations in panel discussions on Peace & Conflict Resolution, the Challenges of Human Trafficking; with breakout sessions highlighting the “Rotary’s Global Women of Action” approach to the Six Areas of Focus: Basic Education & Literacy; Disease Prevention & Treatment; Economic & Community Development; Maternal & Child Health; Peace and Conflict Resolution; and finally, Water & Sanitation.
 
In a panel discussion on Peace and Conflict Resolution, a United Nations Political Affairs Officer discussed his experiences in working in Afghanistan and Ukraine, offering a brighter picture of life expectancy in Afghanistan, for example, than one would think. For much of Afghanistan’s existence, he said, global powers have looked upon that nation through what he called a “military prism”, with the result, he said, that all have been routed from its territory. But while they have routed foreigners from their borders, the Afghans have also waged war upon each other, he said.
 
 
Ophthalmologists conducting eye examinations for pupils of the Kishermoruak Primary School in the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya. 
 
A team of ophthalmologists spent two days last month at Kishermoruak Primary School in the Maasai Mara Reserve of southern Kenya, completing comprehensive eye examinations for the 416 pupils, all arranged locally by the Ridgewood Rotary Club. A long-running association between the local service club and the Canadian charity Operation Eyesight Universal (OEU) brought about the pupil survey, according to Jerry Kallman, chairman of the Kenya School Project, which first begun to support the school in 2008.
 
Created as an International Service Project, the school program counted among its early achievements the completion of a deep-water well dug by the OEU that had never functioned due to lack of a pump-house. Ridgewood Rotary provided that missing link and OEU then equipped the facility with a diesel generator and electrical pump. It now provides clean water for more than a thousand villagers as well as the school. Operation Eyesight Universal initiated the digging of more than 50 wells throughout Africa to encourage clean face and hand hygiene, in its campaign to fight trachoma. This eye disease is traceable to unclean faces and poor sanitation.
 
 
 
 
Does your club want to apply for a Rotary Foundation Grant? Do you want to learn more about how your club can help your community or help throughout the world through the Rotary Foundation? PDG Raj Bhatia, District 7490 Rotary Foundation Chair, invites you to attend the 2015 District 7490 Rotary Foundation SeminarMonday, November 16, 2015 at 6:00 pm at Care Plus Cafeteria in Paramus. All Rotary Clubs that wish to apply for a Rotary Foundation grant MUST attend this seminar prior to signing a Memo of Understanding to qualify their club to receive a grant. Club Presidents and/or their representatives should plan to attend. The cost is $10 payable at the door.
 
REGISTER HERE or email PDG Bonnie Sirower by November 12th.
 

 

Pay It Forward: A profile of Rotary International President 2015-16, K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran

 
We will be having an exceptional event this fall in our district. As you know, November is Foundation month on the Rotary calendar. To underscore the importance of our Rotary Foundation, we will hold The Celebration of Rotary Service dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 10th. At this event, Rotarians with 40 years or more of service will be recognized at a very special dinner to be held at Seasons. What will make this event so special is that our guest keynote speaker will be the President of Rotary International, Ravi Ravindran. This is be an unprecedented honor: that the president of RI will have adjusted his busy schedule to attend this event in our small district. He will be joined by several Rotary dignitaries from our Zone and nearby districts. This will be a night to remember! 
 
Raj Bhatia, District Foundation Chair, has asked that in addition to contributing to the Annual Fund, please consider becoming a sustaining member and/or most importantly becoming a member of the Bequest Society of the RI Permanent Fund. Four Rotarians in our District have already pledged to become Level 2 Bequest Society members. With over thirteen hundred members in our District, we can call our dinner a "Million Dollar Dinner" if only 36 more members take the Level 2 Pledge. (Level 1 is from 10,000 to 24,999 dollars and Level 2 is from 24,999 to 49,999 dollars commitment in your will.) In the days ahead please consider becoming a Bequest Society member by adding a Codicil to your will, indicating the amount you want to commit, if you already have a will, or discuss with your Attorney(s) to formulate one. In closing Raj asks for you to please join him and District Governor Peter Wells by becoming a Bequest Society Member and help us in making this a "Million Dollar Dinner."
 
 

 
 
PDG Bonnie Sirower, who coordinated the Halloween Against Hunger service project on Saturday, is flanked on her left by Niurka (Nikki) Mederos of the North Hudson Rotary Club and on her right by Alison Bryant of the Irvington Rotary Club in District 7470. 
 
Rotarians from District 7490 and other districts in New Jersey were among 354 volunteers on last month who packaged more than 19,000 meals for distribution to food pantries in New Jersey, in a drive that was organized by Past District Governors Bonnie F. Sirower and Dan Shiver. Working with Outreach, Inc., the volunteers had hoped to package at least 60,000 meals, but four of nine pallets of food and supplies that were due to arrive at Saint Peter’s University (where the event took place) by Friday, never arrived.
 
Some of the approximately 100 students of Saint Peter’s University who participated in the food packaging service project on October 24. They are shown here at an orientation given by Chester Banks of the Bayonne Rotary Club. 
 
Even so, volunteers worked with the food and materials they had, and Rotarians bought other supplies on Saturday in order to package as many meals as possible. For example, in order to make certain that food was packaged under sanitary conditions, volunteers needed to wear cellophane or similar gloves and hair nets, but with hair nets among the supplies that failed to arrive, many volunteers used Zip Lock bags as hair nets, thus enabling them to properly prepare the food packages. With the supplies now on hand, an additional day of packaging will take place in November, before Thanksgiving, with a guarantee that an additional 41,000 meals will be packaged.
 
 
 
 
  
The five Rotary districts of New Jersey, including Rotary District 7490, held their 35th Annual New Jersey Rotary Vocational Assembly on Tuesday, October 6. Past Rotary International Vice President Dr. Robert Scott of Ontario in Canada delivered the event’s keynote speech, which focused on RI's End Polio Now Campaign. He urged Rotarians to not become complacent in our goal and their contributions. The last remaining reported cases are in Pakistan and Afghanistan, however, outbreaks can happen if we don't remain vigilant.  Brian Moriarity, of the University of Virginia’s Darden Business School and Valerie Wafer, the owner of six Tom Horton restaurants, also spoke about ethics in business and inclusion in the workplace, respectively.
 
This year Linda Hanlon (pictured above), of the Park Ridge Rotary Club, was the award recipient for our District. "In August 1987, Linda Hanlon was inducted into the Park Ridge Rotary Club by Governor Robert Kleinberg. As the Club’s first female member, she later served as its President in 1994-1995.  As a Rotarian, Linda has become active beyond the club level, serving as a Trustee of the Walter D. Head Foundation from 2009 to 2015.  In addition, Linda was a recipient of a Walter D. Head Award in 1989 and 2003 and received a Paul Harris Fellowship in 1992." 
 
Read more about Linda and the event on the NJ Vocational Assembly website.
 

 
Dr. Stuart Gold, Regional Vice Chair of the Rotary Leadership Institute, speaking of RLI at the Paramus Rotary Club’s meeting on September 24
 
The guest speaker at the Paramus Rotary Club Meeting of Thursday, September 24, 2015 was Dr. Stuart Gold a member of the Park Ridge Rotary Club. Stuart spoke to us about the Rotary Leadership Institute. RLI is an outgrowth of the District 7510 Leadership Institute founded in 1992. Although RLI is not an official program of Rotary International, more than 360 Rotary districts now offer it to their members in 193 countries and a resolution is before the board of directors.
 
What Is The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI)? The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is a series of fast-paced, interactive, one-day courses offered to refine a Rotarian's leadership skills and increase their base of knowledge in Rotary. Courses are fun, topical and interactive. They are geared toward busy business and professional people and community leaders who want to be more effective leaders in their vocation and club. They are also geared toward Rotarians of all knowledge ranges, from new Rotarians to those with 20 years or more of Rotary experience who want to make more of their Rotary membership. Attendees return to their club with enthusiasm, new contacts, fresh ideas, an increased understanding of their potential as Rotarians, and valuable skills impacting their potential leadership in the club.
 
 
From left: MEVO executive director Eric J. FuchsStengel, volunteer Becca Hoskins, Bergen Highlands Rotary Club President Kevin O’Rourke, and MEVO Earth Crew members Noelle Haven Kruse and Hari Ravikumar. 
 
The Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club recently welcomed representatives from the Mahwah Environmental Volunteer Organization (MEVO) at their weekly meeting. Guest speaker Eric Fuchs-Stengel of MEVO discussed the successful installation of 200 water and trash barrels, donated by BH/R Rotary, throughout northern trail areas. He also brought the Club up to date on the new mini farm being developed on lands donated by the Bergen County Park Department in Darlington Park, Mahwah.
 
The Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club has been a supporter of MEVO since its inception in 2008. MEVO carries out volunteer work to promote environmental sustainability throughout local communities. They plant trees, clean up polluted areas, rehabilitate soil erosion, operate a natural agriculture farm, organize electronic recycling drives, educate students on recycling, distribute recycling bins and give away compact fluorescent light bulbs. MEVO strives to get people involved in improving their society and working to solve our worst environmental problems. 
 
Learn more about Bergen Highlands Rotary Club's other projects in our August Newsletter.
 

 
From left: PDG Emil Geering, Recipient Mirasol Lado, WDH Scholarhip Chair Judy Messineo
From left: Recipient Andrew Chalhoub, PDG Emil Geering, WDH Scholarhip Chair Judy Messineo
Past District Governor Emil J. Geering announced that a brochure that discusses the Rotary District 7490 Walter D. Head Foundation is in preparation. The brochure, he said, will explain the Foundation’s purpose, including its grants that fund scholarships and multi-club service projects. He emphasized that the Walter D. Head Foundation is a member-based organization, of which all Rotary clubs in District 7490 are members.
 
Emil introduced Judy Messineo, a member of the Garfield Rotary Club, who is chairwoman of the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee. Judy reported that nine students had applied for Walter D. Head scholarships, with the committee interviewing five in order to select two who would receive the scholarships. Mirasol Lado, whose application was sponsored by the Bergenfield-Dumont Rotary Club, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship and Andrew Chalhoub, whose application was sponsored by the Wayne Rotary Club, was awarded a scholarship of $5,000. Ms. Lado will attend Rutgers University and work toward a doctorate in social work. Mr. Chalhoub will attend Drexel University working toward a medical degree. He hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon. 
 
This article is from our July Newsletter.
 

 
Peter R. Wells, our new District Governor, held his first District Staff Meeting at Biagio's in Paramus. Peter has been a Rotarian throughout his life but in the formal terms 30+ years. He thanked his family for raising him in the Rotary community to make a difference and live by the 4 way test. Peter mentioned a list of other Rotary mentor’s – PDG Joe Laureni, PDG Joe Dino, PDG Bonnie Sirower and his senior staff. Peter shared the many ways we can learn about Rotary – RI website, Rotary Central, Rotary Social, Rotarian magazine, district newsletter, district bulletin and another great resource is his AG of Internet Services, his son Phil.
 
Peter shared about the planned attendance of Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran to District 7490’s Celebration of Rotary Service on Nov. 10, in which Rotarians with at least 40-years of service will be honored at a dinner hosted at Seasons by the Rotary Foundation. He marveled that with more than 520 districts throughout the world, an incumbent president of Rotary International would visit the second smallest of those districts. It is a wonderful honor to our district. Peter finished his address by commenting, "We are the 2nd smallest geographic district in the Rotary community but we can offer and do so much to make a difference." DG Peter Wells has extended a special invitation for any Rotarian to reach out to him personally in any way that he can assist.
 
This article was featured in our July Newsletter.
 

 
Pictures: Peter and Linda Wells (top left), Raymond Wells (bottom left), Honey Moraganstern-Kleinberg (top right), Jack Rosen (bottom right)
 
When Peter R. Wells is installed as the District’s new Governor, Peter’s father, Raymond R. Wells, will become the second father whose son or daughter also served as Governor, with Raymond, having served as the District’s 19th Governor in 1975 –1976. Jack Rosen and his daughter, Honey S. Morganstern-Kleinberg, also served as District Governor, with Jack serving as the District’s 34th Governor in 1990 –1991, and Honey as the 42nd Governor in 1998 – 1999. 
 
Peter, a member of the Park Ridge Rotary Club, will be installed on Thursday, June 25 as the 59th Governor of Rotary District 7490. The Governor’s Installation Banquet will take place at Seasons, located at 644 Pascack Road in Washington Township, N.J. The evening will begin with cocktails at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. that evening. The event attire is “black-tie optional.” 
 
This article appeared in the May Newsletter.
 

 
Picture: District Governor Calisto J. Bertin on April 30 as he welcomed Rotarians to the 58th annual conference of District 7490 at the Hacienda TresRios in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The conference began on April 30 and concluded on May 2.
Members of Rotary clubs in Bergen, Hudson and Passaic Counties met in the first week of May in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for their 58th annual District Conference. The Rotarians heard reports on a variety of issues including the District’s Rotary Foundation Committee and the Walter D. Head Foundation and remembered 20 Rotarians who died during the past year. 
 
For more about the topics discussed at the conference, view the 2015 District Conference Newsletter.
 

 
 
Picture: District Governor Calisto J. Bertin presents Tim Eustace (Maywood) with Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award for his consistent humanitarian service. Tim represents the 38th Legislative District in the New Jersey Assembly, has worked on water and other projects in Kenya, and has hosted Rotary Youth Exchange students.
 
Dr. Timothy Eustace, a member of the Maywood Rotary Club, was honored earlier this month with the Rotary Foundation’s Service Above Self Award - which as District Governor Calisto J. Bertin said in presenting the award, “is Rotary’s highest honor to bestow on one of its own”. 
 
Adding to the prestige of the Service Above Self Award is the fact that no more than 150 of the awards can be presented in any given year, even though Rotary is comprised of 1.2 million members in more than 32,000 Rotary clubs and 535 Rotary districts throughout the world. 
 
 
 
District Governor Calisto J. Bertin with members of the Secaucus Rotary Club and officers of the Interact Club.
 
 
The Rotary Club of Secaucus is proud to welcome all Interactors into the Rotary family! Following the Pledge of Allegiance and welcoming words by Secaucus Club President Dolly Kaur, Interact Club President Nadia provided a very inspiring speech to all as to how community service projects have changed her life and her continued plans to stay involved in other activities. Rotary District Governor Calisto Bertin gave a motivational example and Rotary perspective on Interact and Youth Service. 
 
For the complete story, read the March Newsletter(pdf).
 
For more information on how your club can foster Interact Clubs at your local schools, visit our Interact page.
 

 
 
Pictures: Fred J. Campagna of the Northern Valley Rotary Club after receiving the John J. Hartman Memorial Award. PDG Joseph Laureni, who served this year as Chairman of the Gift of Life Foundation, and Nikki Mederos of Northern Hudson Rotary. 
 
Rotary District 7490’s Gift of Life Foundation Dinner on February 13th celebrated 91 cardiac surgeries that were performed under its auspices last year. Working with the Ukrainian Gift of Life Foundation, District 7490’s Gift of Life Foundation sponsored 46 surgeries that were performed by Ukrainian doctors in that nation, while a District medical mission performed 26 surgeries in the Philippines last fall. A second medical mission performed 13 additional surgeries in Uganda, while six surgeries took place in hospitals in New Jersey and New York.
 
 
 
 
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