The Rotary Club of

Berkeley Heights

February 2017

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Club Information

Welcome to The Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights

Service Above Self

The Second and Fourth Wednesdays at 12:15pm
Chimney Rock Inn
342 Valley Road
Gillette, NJ  07933
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories

We all know how dramatically communications technology has changed in recent years… What about here, in Berkeley Heights? How are we taking advantage of these changes?

At our meeting on Wednesday, February 22nd, we’ll be joined by our town’s “communications backbone,” Nick Schiavo.  Nick is Chair of the Berkeley Heights Communications Committee. He’ll take us through the committee’s initiatives with the government, our high school’s TV studio, local businesses and community organizations, and how this committee of all volunteers is moving forward to highlight our town’s increasingly numerous activities and events. In brief, this committee has been adapting to these changes to bring clear, crisp, and timely messages to our town’s residents and key stakeholders.

The Communications Committee is now at a pivot point and is developing a strategy for the future, which Nick will takes us through, and seek our input.

Professionally, Nick is a CPA; he’s employed by a private foundation, so he knows the in’s and out’s of initiatives like this and has been tenacious in sticking with it to achieve success! (Nick’s also a tenacious racquetball player, and always brings his “A” game to the court. In the same way, he’s always brought his “A” game to township communications for nearly a decade!)

The Berkeley Heights Rotary Club is a great group of local business-people and professionals. We're here to make positive improvements in our community. We get together every two weeks for a friendly lunch and to decide what we'll tackle next. Meetings are open to anyone who'd like to roll up their sleeves for our township and its people. We support youth groups, seniors, students, and community-servers like our rescue squad, firefighters, and peace officers, plus educators, librarians, food banks, the homeless, and citizens at large. We're non-political, non-sectarian, and open to all.

Grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948, the Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event involving athletes with a range of disabilities, including impaired muscle power, range of movement, limb deficiency, and even vision impairment. One of the most exciting Paralympic sport is Wheelchair Fencing.


At our next lunch-time meeting, on Wednesday, January 25th, we’re going to learn the ins and outs of this sport, from an expert!  Dr. Don DeFabio, a former competitive fencer (saber) himself, is a Paralympics technical official, specifically for Wheelchair Fencing.


He’s also served as a chiropractic doctor for the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kona for nine years and also for USA Fencing. Dr. Don is also the Chiropractic Physician for Drew University Athletics.  

At the community level he supports Our House, which provides housing and jobs for educationally and developmentally disabled adults, the Summit Area YMCA and Scouting in Berkeley Heights.

And here we have a bunch of happy Berkeley Heights Rotarians, with a bunch of oranges and grapefruit from the Scouts of Berkeley Heights Troop 368! For our support as the troop's sponsor, the gift of citrus is the Scouts' way of saying thanks for another great year.

At a recent awards event, four Berkeley Heights Scouts were recognized for outstanding achievements in scholarship and athletics by the Patriots’ Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America. They were: Vasant Bhardwaj, Troop 368; Alexander (“Sasha”) Frolov, Troop 68; Alton Grossman, Troop 68; and Anton Kral, Troop 68. All four Scouts are Life rank, working toward Scouting’s highest rank: Eagle. Troops 68 and 368 are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights.
Vasant Bhardwaj is a sophomore at the Academy of Information Technology. He is a member of the Governor Livingston High School marching band and the Varsity swim team, and is also involved in karate. Vasant’s future plan is to major in computer sciences at MIT. In Troop 368, he has served as Patrol Leader and Troop Quartermaster.
Alexander Frolov is a senior at the Academy of Information Technology and a member of the GLHS Varsity cross-country and track teams. Sasha’s future plan is to pursue a career in data analysis. In Troop 68, he has served as Senior Patrol Leader and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.
Alton Grossman is a senior at Governor Livingston High School, where he is a member of the marching band (drumline section leader), the Varsity fencing team (sabre), President of the GLHS Model United Nations, and member of the Latin club. Alton’s future goals include pursuing studies in economics, business, and the Classics. In Troop 68, he has served as Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.
Anton Kral is a senior at Oratory Preparatory School, where he is a member of the Varsity hockey, and track and field teams, and the rugby club. He will attend Tulane University and major in the sciences. In Troop 68, he has served as Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and Trek Crew Leader at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
PHOTO (from left):
Alexander (“Sasha”) Frolov, Vasant Bhardwaj, Alton Grossman, Anton Kral.

Michael Shapiro, CEO & Publisher of, a network of 60 independently owned and operated online local newspapers in New Jersey and New York, with over 5 million readers, is a recipient of the Toast to Scouting Award by the Patriots’ Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Toast to Scouting recognition was presented to Mr. Shapiro by The Honorable Donna M. Simon, two-term Assemblywoman for NJ Legislative District 16.
Mr. Shapiro, a graduate of Rutgers College, Rutgers University, and Stanford Law School, began in 2003. He presently serves as President of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the Communications Advisory Board of the College of St. Elizabeth, and as a board member of the New Providence Business & Professional Association and the Madison Chamber of Commerce. A Rotarian, Mr. Shapiro is Past President and active member of the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights.
Congratulating him after the ceremonies (see photo) is Linda Sausville, current President of the Rotary Club.
The Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays each month (major holidays excepted) at The Chimney Rock Inn, 342 Valley Road, Gillette. For more information visit or call 908-447-6290.
Rotary is a civic organization—a global network of 1.2 million community leaders and volunteers with one aim: Helping our neighbors across the street and around the world.
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PHOTO (from left):
Michael Shapiro and Linda Sausville

On Wednesday, December 14, Mayor Robert Woodruff will film The Mayor’s Roundtable at the lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights.
The club meeting and roundtable will be held from 12 Noon to 1:30 pm at The Chimney Rock Inn, 342 Valley Road, in Gillette. Visitors are always welcome to attend Rotary meetings, and the public is especially encouraged to come and “break bread” with Mayor Woodruff during the filming of the December edition of The Mayor’s Roundtable. Lunch is $20 Prix Fixe (cash or check; no credit cards, please).
Berkeley Heights’ moderator and “roving emcee,” Dr. Don DeFabio, will preside for the video portion of this gathering, including updates from Mayor Woodruff and several important presentations by the Rotary Club and this year’s President, Linda Sausville.
“Mayor Woodruff and I are excited to be going on the road with The Mayor’s Roundtable,” comments Dr. DeFabio. “In fact, the show is all about bringing information to the community and this is a perfect opportunity.” (Any business or community organization can request to host the show by contacting Dr. DeFabio at 908-771-0220.)
The Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays each month (major holidays excepted). For more information visit or call 908-447-6290.
Rotary is a civic organization—a global network of 1.2 million community leaders and volunteers with one aim: Helping our neighbors across the street and around the world. 

On Wednesday, November 9 the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club was visited by Adriana Camunas, Kean University student and a founding member of the Rotaract student service club there, with her grass-roots idea, Purses for Progress. Adriana is collecting gently used purses and personal products for homeless women throughout northern and central New Jersey. When she discovered that many homeless women die of diseases due to lack of access to cleansing products as simple as soap and toothpaste, she made up her mind to change this. The purses and products are donated by a variety of civic organizations including many Rotary Clubs in the area. Her dad disinfects all purses first, and then Adriana fills them with small, travel-size products for cleanliness and delivers these to homeless shelters. The Berkeley Heights Rotary Club's members brought a bevy of items and purses to lend a hand, and will be collecting more for this Rotaract Club over the coming holiday season. For further information contact club member Stephanie Bakos at 908-963-9092 or To learn more about Rotary go to

PHOTO: Stephanie Bakos, PforP Champion; Adriana Camunas; Linda Sausville, Rotary Club President.

A huge Rotary thank you to everyone that supported the 2016 edition of the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast!  For a full wrap up of the event please see the TAPInto article which can be accessed here.

The Berkeley Height Rotary Club was asked to pitch in at the recent Police-Firefighter Charity Softball Game. We decided the best thing we could do was keep fans and players well-fed, hydrated, and happy. We set up our tent and served hot dogs, pizza and soft drinks, requesting only donations as the crowd saw fit. After the game, we fed the players from both brave teams free, as a way to say Thanks! The result--nearly $500 in contributions by the several hundred fans that day, plus our own donations (Rotary servers contributed, too)! All collected funds went straight to the Memorial Park Restoration Committee.

The Boy Scouts of Troop 68, a backbone of Berkeley Heights since 1936, have received the prestigious Rotary Community Service Award. This recognition is presented to the Scouts by their sponsoring organization, the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights, and the International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians.
Hey everyone!! Kean University's Rotaract Club is heading a service project called Purses for Progress!!  The club will be collecting gently used purses and filling them with donated feminine hygiene products and various other travel size personal products such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. They would also love to put some snacks in the purses such as granola bars. The purses will be distributed to homeless women ...or any woman in need really. Anything donated will be greatly appreciated!  Please see the attached flyer for additional information.

On Thursday, October 13 Tiffany Escott of the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club was presented the Berkeley Heights Good Scout Award at a dinner held at Primavera Restaurant in Stirling.  Details of the event can be read in the TAPInto online article by clicking here.

Two marvelous speakers addressed our summer club meetings: Frank Hubbard on July 27 and Jim Skidmore on August 10.

Mr. Hubbard, a semi-retired Episcopalian priest and his wife reside in Berkeley Heights, but Frank serves the inner city community in Elizabeth (a part of District 7510) as a volunteer with "Reach Out And Read" (ROAR, for short). At least once a week, Frank visits the pediatric clinic at Trinitas and reads to the small children waiting to be seen. He finds often that he's the first person ever to offer a child the opportunity to hear and see a book read aloud by any adult! This has proven throughout ROAR's service area to make a significant difference in young children's affinity to books and in early reading skills. (PHOTO: Frank Hubbard; Linda Sausville; Lisa Liss, Director of Volunteer Services- Trinitas)

Mr. Skidmore, a resident of Berkeley Heights for over 50 years, is Vice President of Blue Bay Technologies, a privately held cybersecurity consultancy providing services to businesses, corporations, government agencies, and the U.S. Military. His talk, promoted in advance, drew New Providence resident and DHS Director, Dr. Mitchell Erickson, and a lively exchange of ideas, insights, and speculations for what the future of "cyberspace" might look like unfolded. (PHOTO: Jim Skidmore, Dr. Mitchell Erickson, Dolores Croneberger, Linda Sausville, Judy Croneberger)

The Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights inducted their 2016-17 officers: Linda Sausville, President; Jim Ramentol, President-Elect; Stephanie Bakos, Secretary; and Hal Daume, Treasurer. (PHOTO FROM LEFT: Jim Ramentol, Linda Sausville, Stephanie Bakos, Hal Daume)

Club President Linda Sausville congratulated and thanked Julianne Simmons for her years of service as Club Treasurer. (PHOTO: Linda Sausville, Julianne Simmons)

Club President Linda Sausville congratulated and thanked Stephanie Bakos for continuing on as Club Secretary. (PHOTO: Linda Sausville, Stephanie Bakos)

Club President Linda Sausville congratulated and thanked Mike Del Duca for his ongoing years of club and community service as Chair of the club's Medic-Alert initiative, serving some two hundred solo seniors in Berkeley Heights and New Providence. (PHOTO: Linda Sausville, Mike Del Duca)

Club President Linda Sausville thanked Rubber Ducky Festival Champions Tiffany Escott and Julianne Simmons for their past four years of wonderfully successful annual events. (PHOTO: Tiffany Escott, Linda Sausville, Julianne Simmons)

Berkeley Heights: On Wednesday, August 10, Mr. Jim Skidmore, Berkeley Heights resident and Vice President for Global Sales & Business Development at Blue Bay Technologies will be the featured speaker at the lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights.
The meeting will be held from 12 Noon to 1:30 pm at The Chimney Rock Inn, 342 Valley Road, in Gillette.
Blue Bay Technologies is a top cyber-security advisory organization with more than a decade of experience in the security application arena for businesses and corporations, with special capabilities in detection technologies and intrusion prevention.

Jim Skidmore is a multi-major graduate of Susquehanna University, with three decades of experience in management consulting and technical solutions leader in cyber risk management and business intelligence.


Frank Hubbard, Berkeley Heights resident and ROR volunteer, along with Lisa Liss, Director of Volunteer Services for Trinitas, visited the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club to describe what ROR is and has accomplished in the 27 years since its founding. 

ROR is an American not-for-profit organization that advocates for and promotes childhood literacy through a network of active, hands-on volunteers like Frank Hubbard across nearly five thousand pediatric clinics across the U.S. Trinitas is a major sponsor of this work in its New Jersey service area; Frank is one of the volunteers who regularly visit Trinitas's Elizabeth clinic, where they will offer donated children's books to families and--most important--offer to read to the children right here in the waiting room!

Frank, a semi-retired Episcopalian priest, loves his new "job," and it showed in his smile and the twinkle in his eyes as he related personal stories, often involving introducing a toddler or small child to their very first adult-read book! He has also helped bi-lingual parents use children's books to help improve their newly acquired English.The Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights meets regularly at The Chimney Rock Inn, 342 Valley Road in Gillette. Meetings are from 12 Noon to 1:30 pm sharp, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays each month (major holidays excepted). Meetings, which include lunch ($20 cash or check, please), are open to all. For more information visit or call 908-447-6290.

Rotary is a civic organization--a global network of 1.2 million community leaders and volunteers with one aim: Helping our neighbors across the street and around the world. We have no other agenda.

PHOTO (left to right): Frank Hubbard, ROR Volunteer; Linda Sausville, Rotary Club President; Lisa Liss, Trinitas-Director of Volunteer Services


Every year for the past several decades the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights has awarded scholarships to exceptional Governor Livingston High School graduates, in collaboration with the Rotary Club-sponsored Interact student service club faculty advisors, Sharon Leahy and Doreen Ladinski.
Among the impressive group of 2016 scholarship candidates, four exceptional seniors stood out in the multiple dimensions of academics, extracurricular activities, and community service.  This year, our four scholarship recipients are Cassandra Anzalone, Alexander Glen, Colin Hegarty, and Sama Manchanda. Each received $1,000.00 from Fred DaVeiga, Scholarship Chair, and Linda Sausville, President, of the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights, at the club’s annual scholarship family dinner at the Chimney Rock Inn.
(PHOTO—from left: Linda Sausville, Sama Manchanda, Colin Hegarty, Cassandra Anzalone, Alexander Glen, Fred DaVeiga)
On a weather-perfect Saturday afternoon, thousands of "adopted" rubber duckies raced breathlessly down the Passaic River for prizes on June 11th, as the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club celebrated their 13th Annual Rubber Ducky Race & Festival at the Passaic River Park in Berkeley Heights.
Drawing a crowd of over a thousand spectators and participants, this event has become an annual mainstay for Berkeley Heights and neighboring townships. Admission, as always, was free. In addition to the famous race, guests enjoyed displays and booths from commercial exhibitors including the Chimney Rock Inn, eMedical Urgent Care, Master Kim's Talium Taekwondo,
Power Home Remodeling, and Tri-State Improvements/Gutter Protection Co.
Not-for-profit local groups represented were the Berkeley Heights Library, Volunteer Rescue Squad, and YMCA. Hot pizza and hand-made sandwiches this year came from Clemente’s Pizza. This event also offered a “dunk tank” and games for kids from two to ninety-two. The “bounce house” was donated once again by the Taylor Rental owner and past Rotary Club President, Paul Neuwirth. Music and announcements were provided by teen “DJ Infinite.” The Berkeley Heights Fire department brought one of their bigger firefighting trucks, which kids could climb on and “inspect” close-up. The BH Police Department provided personal on-site safety.
This event directly benefitted Berkeley Heights Boy Scout Troops 68 and 368, and Cub Scout Pack 368; Millington Troop 56, New Providence Senior Citizens, and the Suburban Chambers of Commerce. Net funds generated by this event are also used by the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club throughout the coming year for the benefit of in-town organizations such as the Volunteer Rescue Squad, Police Department, and the Memorial Park Renewal Committee. Funds from this event also underwrite the scholarships the Rotary Club gives to graduating Governor Livingston High School students, the Berkeley Heights Educational Foundation, and student dictionaries for every Berkeley Heights third-grader. The Rotary Club also contributes directly to community service projects undertaken by local Scouts in their quest for Eagle Scout—the nationally recognized highest rank in Boy Scouting.
In addition to these local contributions and initiatives, the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club also contributes annually to the Polio Plus initiative of Rotary International. This initiative, begun by Rotary Clubs world-wide in 1985, is relentlessly eradicating polio throughout the world—over the past 31 years Rotary Clubs and partners in this endeavor have reduced new cases of polio worldwide from over 350,000 men, women, and children every year prior to 1985 to a mere 20, in just two remaining countries, in 2016 to date.
Top prize for the fastest duck this year was a Weber Spirit gas grill. Other top prizes included gift cards to Delicious Heights Restaurant, Trap Rock Restaurant, and the Chimney Rock Inn.
This year's Platinum Sponsor was the soon-to-open Embassy Suites hotel, owned and managed by Hilton and the Connell Companies. Additional major sponsors included Cornerstone Analytics, Door Boy, Investors Bank, Taylor Rental, and (formerly The Alternative
As the final step before the annual Rubber Ducky Race  for thousands of rubber duckies, members of the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club are numbering each ducky to correspond with an "adoption ticket" purchased throughout the community over the past several weeks. The ducks will race down the river immediately behind the Passaic River Park soccer fields (161 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights) on Saturday afternoon.
In addition to the ducky race, families can enjoy a Moon Walk "bounce house," kids' games, a Scout-O-Rama, Car Show, and hot food from Clemente's of Berkeley Heights. Admission is free. A variety of commercial and non-profit exhibitors will be on the fields, and a local Taekwondo Dojo will put on an martial arts show. Music this year is provided by a local DJ.
The 13th Annual Berkeley Heights Rubber Ducky Festival is taking place on June 11 from 12 Noon to 4 p.m. at the Passaic River Park soccer fields at 151 Springfield Avenue, in Berkeley Heights.
The feature event will again be the Rubber Ducky Race, when thousands of tiny ducks float down the Passaic River in their quest to be the first to the finish line for their respective owners. This year’s hot food will be cooked by the members of the Berkeley Heights VFW veterans organization. Carnival-type games will be on site for all to play. Local businesses and community organizations will also have exhibits at the Festival. Try out your pitching arm at the “Dunk Tank” with local celebrities being dunked! Other exciting happenings during the event are a hot DJ, Scout-O-Rama, Moon Walk, water balloons, and kids games. Admission is free. Enjoy seeing friends and neighbors and coming together as a community. 
Adopt ducks for only $5 each for a chance to win fantastic prizes donated by local businesses. First Prize this year is a Weber Spirit Grill valued at $649.00, provided by the Rotary Club. Tickets are being sold by Scouts in front of local businesses; a limited number will be available at the Festival.
Funds raised go to Governor Livingston High School Senior Scholarships and support providing Student Dictionaries to every Berkeley Heights 3rd-grader, Medic-Alert for over 200 area solo senior citizens, and helping over 500 local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Sponsors and supporters include Cornerstone Analytics, Door Boy, Investors Bank,, and Taylor Rental. For more information on sponsoring, call Julianne Simmons at (908) 377-6641.
The Rubber Ducky Festival is run by the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights in cooperation with the Suburban Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Berkeley Heights Recreation Department.
For more information call Julianne Simmons at (908) 377-6641 or Tiffany Escott at (908) 464-8373.
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