ROTARY DISTRICT 7490
 
SERVING BERGEN, HUDSON, AND PASSAIC COUNTIES
OUR DISTRICT GOVERNOR
 
District 7490 Governor 
Stephen V. Jarahian
District Governor Home Club: 
 
Stories
Every club around the district is doing an outstanding job with putting on events that embody The Four Way Test.  Here is a list of those:  
 
 
Last year we had 12 clubs (with 11 completed projects) that received District Grants! Your club could be one of them this year. Every club has worthy projects they’re working on that fit within Rotary’s 6 areas of Focus (promoting peace, preventing diseases, providing access to clean water and sanitation, enhancing maternal and child health, improving basic education and literacy, and helping communities develop).

 
 
 
Please be reminded that you MUST submit a 990 form to the IRS for your club and your club's foundation by November 15. 

 
 

 
Lobster, Clams, Shrimp, Soda, Beer and much, much more…   To benefit  "The Gift of Life", a program of the Rotary Clubs of District 7490
 
 
PDG ( and Assistant Rotary Coordinator) Drew Kessler (District 7410)  and Jersey City (7490) Past-President Ruddys Andrade will lead a webinar on how to get young professionals to join your Rotary Club and how to keep them engaged in the club once they have joined. 

 
 
 
 

Vocational Service is Second Avenue of Rotary’s Five Avenues of Service. Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society and serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards. If you are an active and engaged Rotarian, you probably view vocational service as a way of life, even if you find it difficult to articulate a clear definition. 

The New Jersey Vocational Assembly celebrates those Rotarians that demonstrate the ideals of Vocational Service. Our Vocational Assembly is unique in that we are the only state that has all five Rotary Districts come together to honor one Rotarian from each District that exemplifies these qualities. It is a celebration for all Rotarians in New Jersey. 

The event is to take place on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2016. Many of our Rotarians are deserving of this prestigious award, including nominees from the past that did not receive the award.  Applications for past nominees are welcome.

2016 NOMINATION APPLICATION - http://rotarynjva.org/Page/nominations

 

 

 
Ruddys E. Andrade at the District Conference in Baltimore on April 29, speaking of the Jersey City Rotary Club’s 17-percent increase in membership last year.
 
Ruddys E. Andrade, a member of the Jersey City Rotary Club, spoke of a 17-percent increase in the club’s membership last year while he was its President.
 
Speaking in Baltimore on April 29 at Rotary District 7490’s 59th annual District Conference, Ruddys said the increase was brought about by the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to publicize the club’s activities and the Club’s invitation to people to seek membership.
 
 
Rotarians from District 7490 on April 29 assembling one of 10 bicycles that were distributed later that day to children in Baltimore.
 
Rotarians from clubs in Bergen, Hudson and Passaic Counties, meeting last month at District 7490’s annual conference, assembled 10 bicycles which later that day, they presented to children whose families would otherwise have been unable to afford them.
 
In perhaps the first service project ever conducted at a district conference, Rotarians on April 29, guided by instructions from the manufacturer, put the bicycles together at the beginning of the day’s plenary, that is, general meeting. The front wheel of a bicycle that had already been assembled and which was on display as a model was inverted, a mistake which was not repeated on the 10 bicycles they assembled.
 
 
District Governor Peter Wells, First Lady Linda Wells, and AG Phil Wells at the 59th District Conference in Baltimore, MD
 
Rotary District 7490 held its 59th District Conference in Baltimore, Maryland this year from April 28th through May 1st. It was a wonderful event which many in our District participated in this year. The newsletter will provide more information regarding the activities and resolutions voted on during the plenary sessions. Click here to view photos from the conference. 
 

 
Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan, Bayonne Superintendent of Schools, on March 22 at the Bayonne Rotary Club’s Water Well Recognition Breakfast with Danielle Raslowsky, Student Council Coordinator of the Bayonne Public Schools; a student council member; and Chester R. Banks, the Club President.
 
Clean water is a basic need for human beings. When people, especially children, have access to clean water, they live healthier and more productive lives. However, at least 3,000 children die each day from diseases caused by unsafe water.
 
For the 10th consecutive year, the Rotary Club of Bayonne has entered into a partnership with the Bayonne Public Schools to raise money to build water wells in countries where the need for clean, safe water is most needed. Dr. Patricia McGeehan, Superintendent of Schools addresses every school yearly, stressing the need for clean water. She asks students to imagine what it would feel like to wake up one morning and find that there is no running water to take a shower and brush your teeth. The Student Council in each school, under the direction of the building principal and Student Council Advisor, raise funds through penny wars, bucket wars, t-shirt day, jeans day, etc. The school system has raised over $54,000 over the past 10 years. This year they raised an all-time high of $7,461.40.
 
Rotarian Rev. Dorothy Patterson has been involved in a water well project in Guyana for the past seven years. She goes there several times a year to assess the needs. On March 22nd, the Rotary Club hosted a Water Well Recognition Breakfast for each Student Council President and the Student Council Advisors. 
 
 
Rotarian Bill Ziegler presents a $500 check to ACS teachers Lisa Compel and Jill Miller.
 
The Rotary Club of The Palisades presented a check for $500 to Jill Miller and Lisa Badalamenti-Compel, two Anna C Scott Elementary School teachers, in support of ACS’s “Books For All” program at the Rotary Club meeting on April 1.
 
Jill Miller and Lisa Badalamenti-Compel have been actively engaged in working with the ACS Student Council in driving the “Books For All” program (also known as the “Snackpack for the Mind”). Under their direction, the grades 3-5 student council representatives have launched this effort and a letter writing campaign to generate new book donations for distribution. The students have already received responses from well-known author J.K. Rowling and Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle and enthusiastic support from the community.
 
Sadly, not all Leonia elementary school children or their families can always afford new books. Numerous research studies have found a direct correlation between children who regularly read and academic/professional success later in life. The “Books For All” campaign is designed to help narrow the gap between the haves and have-nots by putting new books in the hands of some students who might not otherwise receive them. Nearly 11% of Leonians are living on incomes at or below the Federal Poverty Level. While a new book in the hands of an elementary student might not be the first thing which comes to mind when we think about how many families are struggling economically, it is without a doubt one of the most impactful gifts a child can get.
 
 
RI President K.R. Ravindran and PDG Raj Bhatia
 
Past District Governor Suraj P. Bhatia was named this month as one of six Regional Promotional Coordinators of Zone 32 for next year’s Rotary International convention in Atlanta.
 
Zone 32 is made up of 1,041 Rotary clubs with 33,800 members in Bermuda, Canada and six states in the northeastern United States. As a Regional Promotional Coordinator, Raj will be responsible for encouraging Rotarians to participate in the conference. He is expected to work with clubs in all five Rotary districts in New Jersey.
 
He will be responsible for working with members of RI’s Board of Directors, Zone, and Regional officers and with officers of the more than 1,000 clubs in the Zone in promoting attendance at the convention.
 
 
Glenda Campaniola, a member of the Paramus Rotary Club, and co-chairwoman of the Gift of Life Committee, as she received the John D. Hartman Memorial Award from Chair David Whitlock, presented to the one person “who has demonstrated outstanding service in the interest of saving children’s lives through the Gift of Life.” 
 
Rotary District 7490’s Gift of Life Foundation celebrated the completion of 88 heart surgeries last year, with 85 of those surgeries being performed in seven nation abroad and three in the United States.
 
Jennifer Padolina, co-chairwoman of the Gift of Life Committee, speaking of the GOL medical mission to Hanoi which took place four weeks earlier, in mid-January
 
Speaking at the Gift of Life’s annual dinner on February 11, Jennifer Padolina, co-chairwoman of the District’s Gift of Life Committee, (of the Paramus Rotary Club) thanked hospitals in New Jersey and New York - Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, St. Joseph Children’s Hospital in Paterson, and Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, all in New Jersey; and Westchester Medical Center Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y. - which have donated use of their facilities for heart surgeries, and the doctors who donated their time.
 
 
 
 
AG Aleta Frezzell with DG Peter Wells after receiving a proclamation from the Mayor of Englewood, Resolutions from both the State Senate and Assembly, and Certificates of Commendation from both the Bergen County Executive and the Bergen County Freeholders
 
Aleta Frezell, an Asssitant Governor and Immediate Past President of the Englewood Rotary Club was presented with the Trailblazers Award at Teaneck Mayor Lizette Parker’s eighth annual African-American History Breakfast Program. She is the first African American female President of the Englewood Rotary Club.
 
Aleta also received resolutions from both houses of the New Jersey State Legislature, and certificates of commendation from the Bergen County Executive Director and from the Bergen County Board of Freeholders. 
 
This article was featured in our February Newsletter.
 
 

 
PDG Joseph Dino, Jr., who was appointed to the Multi-District PETS Alliance Register for Motivational Speakers
 
Our own Past District Governor Joe Dino has been honored nationally and was appointed to the Multi-District PETS Alliance Register for Motivational Speakers. Many Past Rotary Presidents and Directors are on this select list and are utilized by Multi-District PETS all over the United States for motivation and training of incoming Presidents. Only two from the state of New Jersey and Joe is one of them. 
 
Thus far in 2016 Joe is scheduled to speak at the MidAtlantic, Heartland and Mid-Northeast Multi-District PETS. 
 
 
 
 
Arthur Fenniman exemplified and embodied both “Service Above Self” and Rotary’s  4-Way test  throughout his personal, vocational and Rotary life.  It is in this same tradition that the District annually honors someone who has demonstrated these same qualities of commitment to service and high ethical standards.
 
At our 59th Annual District Conference, the recipient will be presented with this award sponsored by the Maywood Rotary Club. Please nominate a deserving club member using this application. The deadline for nominations is March 17, 2016. Please email applications to DGN Jim Boyer.
 
 
 
Today Rotary clubs mark the 111th anniversary of the first Rotary club meeting. For more than a century, Rotary members have been committed to serving others by taking action to improve communities locally and around the world. Learn more about the history of Rotary here.
 
What are you and your club doing to celebrate this significant day?
 

 
Amani Mohsen, 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 Mohsen, 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.
 
 
 
 
 
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2016 DISTRICT CONFERENCE
Watch highlights from our 2016 District Conference in Baltimore, MD.