Rotary Club of Berkley
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Service Above Self


Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:15 PM
First United Methodist Church of Berkley
2820 Twelve Mile Road
Berkley, MI  48072
United States
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Home Page Stories
The annual Pancake Day Fundraiser, held on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at Berkley High School, was a huge success! Thank you to all who came out and supported our efforts, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast! 
The Berkley Rotary Club met for several years at the First United Methodist Church in Berkley.  After a long presence in that location due to changes at the church, the club met at a variety of businesses in the community. The church is now under new leadership and has welcomed our club back to their facilities starting Monday, August 15th.  Our first return meeting will begin at 12:15 PM and all are welcome.  Bring a friend to Rotary!   We hope this is a renewed start for our club as we continue service above self for the greater Berkley area. 
Berkley Rotary Holiday Concert
Mark your calendars for December 21, 2016 
7:00 PM
Berkley High School Auditorium
2265 Catalpa, just east of Coolidge
Featuring the choirs of Berkley Schools
All are welcome!

Looking forward to meeting at our new location on Monday, June 2.  This will be a special meeting as we start a new chapter for the Berkley Rotary Club.  What better way to kick things off than inducting two new members to our club?

Menus for O'Mara's Restaurant can be found online at for breakfast and for lunch.

Please review the menus in advance so that you can place your order when you arrive.  Orders will be placed in the kitchen after you place your order (rather than as a group once everyone has ordered).  You will be served when your food is ready.  Each person will pay his or her own bill.  A 20% gratuity will be added automatically to each bill.

It may take a few weeks to get our meetings into a good groove but look forward to meeting in our new location.  See you all next week!

BERKLEY, MI (May 27, 2014) – After more than 50 years, the Rotary Club of Berkley will have a new home.  Starting on Monday, June 2, the Club will meet at O'Mara's Restaurant in downtown Berkley at the intersection of 12 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway.  Guests, prospective members and anyone interested in sharing a meal in fellowship are welcome to attend.  The Club meets each Monday for lunch from 12:15 pm to 1:30 pm.    

"We're looking forward to meeting in our new location and expect it will help the club to be more inviting and visible," said Dr. Paul Benson, Club President.

"Meeting at a restaurant will give everyone the option to order what they want off the menu.  Rather than paying a flat fee, each person will pay their own bill at the end of the meal," said Matt Church, Club President-Elect.

Each meeting features a speaker.  Here's a look at speakers for the month of June.

June 2: First meeting at O'Mara's and induction of two new members

June 9: Robert Wittenberg discusses that impact of being a Berkley Rotary Club college scholarship recipient

June 16: Exchange student Florane and Berkley High student Tristan talk about their experiences at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp

June 23: Joyce and John Joyce of the Sterling Heights Rotary Club tell us about their international clean water projects.

June 30:  A representative from the Detroit Institute of Arts will share information about one of this region's cultural gems.

The Rotary Club of Berkley was founded in 1949 and has been doing important work in the community and around the world for over 65 years.  For more information, visit


Tomorrow, May 19 will be our last meaning at the First United Methodist Church before we move to our new home at O'Maras.  It is with a heavy heart that we leave the meeting place that has been part of our rotary family for quite some time.  In fact, most Rotarians do not remember any other home other than the First United Methodist Church and wonderful women that prepared weekly meals.  Tomorrow we will honor the women of the church at our meeting.  We will have some open conversation with them to close out an important part of our club's history.  Tributes will continue on July 10, 2014 with a special presentation for these great women at our Presidents' Night when we officially Swearing in our new club officers.

ImageOur move to O'Mara's, on the corner of 12 Mile Road and Coolidge, will be June 2, 2014.  The start time will remain the same at 12:15 P.M.   You will be able to order what you want off the menu when you arrive and each person will get a bill near the end of the meeting.   A 20% gratuity will automatically be added to your bill.  Food will arrive at your table as it comes out of the kitchen.  Some club business may be handled during your lunch but for the most part eating will be completed by the time our speaker begins.  Please allow for some changes to this agenda as we learn and get a new format into place.

Our program for the June 2 meeting will be the Joyce's who will talk about their efforts in providing clean and safe water around the world.  We are excited about our new venue and believe it will be a big part in reinventing Berkley Rotary.  As always guests and prospective members are always welcome!


Our club in conjunction with the Berkley School District, Women's Soccer team or Eastern Michigan University, and the Lion's club was held on Saturday May 2 in Berkley.  We give special thanks to Tom Colwell of our club and the Lions club for spearheading this program.  One student at a time in promoting anti-bullying and good sportsmanship as well as the opportunity to improve their soccer skills.

Save the date Thursday, July 10 for our president night to officially install Berkely's new administration.  It will be at past president (boy--I like that title) Paul Benson's house begnning at 6:30 P.M. A great barbeque dinner, fellowship, and a few surprises are guaranteed.  More information will follow.

It's hard to believe that the year is almost over and Florane will be going back home.  We will officially be saying goodbye to her at our meeting on Monday June 16.  At the meeting she and fellow student Tristen, will share their experiences wilth us from when they attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference last month.

The date for our signature Pancake Breakfast fundrasier has been selected by Charlie Glogower, event chair.  Paul, Matt, Mary Beth, and Charlie took a tour of the Berkley High School Cafeteria as a possible site location since we will not be at the First United methodist Church.  This facility will be spectacular for the event.  It is not confirmed yet and there are some details to work out, however all parties are confident that these details will be worked out.  More t come.

Our exchange student from Switzerland, Florene, has been living a real American experience!  In December, she traveled to Florida and the Bahamas with Darlene and Charlie Glogower and daughter Rachel.  In early March she traveled with her current host family to Washington D.C. and went to the White House.  More recently, Florane attended a game at U Of M; and went to a Red Wing Hockey Game, where she met some new friends!  Here are some photos of the U Of M Game and Red Wings game.







On March 30th, fourteen Rotarians attended the Royal Oak Comedy Club in support of the Tri-Community Coalition which which helps to fight drug and alcohol abuse among young people through education and awareness.  Several met for dinner first at the Royal Oak Brewery next to the comedy club.  Both of the comedians were very funny and a good time was had by all.  Our exchange student, Florane PralongImage was also in attendance!
Dennis Liegghio will be our speaker Monday January 20 who will discuss preventing teen suicide.  The community is invited to attend this program as it is part of our "No Place for Hate" Anti Bullying campaign with the Berkley School District.

At Tuesday's meeting we celebrated two anniversaries.  George Elfond (left) joined in 1970 and Gene Tata (right) joined in 1996.  Thank you both for your continued commitment to the Berkley Rotary Club!  


District 6380 Governor Elect Geoge Hedgespeth has returned from San Diego and the Rotary International Assembly as a "tired puppy" but all the better for it.  He is excited about next Rotary year and excited about the possibilities to "light up Rotary" during his time as District Governor next Rotary year.

Check out the great article from C and G News our Rotary club:


January 15, 2014

Rotary Club and Berkley schools partner for anti-bullying campaign

By Joshua Gordon
C & G Staff Writer

BERKLEY — Almost every school across the state deals with bullying issues at some point in the school year, but at Anderson Middle School, Principal Vince Gigliotti has been trying to get the students involved in stopping the bullying acts.

The school’s “No Place for Hate” program has helped educate students on the repercussions of bullying, and how it can affect other students, by bringing in speakers to talk with the students.

To help bring in the speakers, Berkley Public Schools formed a partnership with the Rotary Club of Berkley. Rotary Club President Paul Benson pledged to donate $8,000 toward the campaign.

The Rotary Club raised $9,700 during its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser in November — it’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Combined with a $4,000 grant from Rotary International, Benson and the Rotary Club donated another $4,000 to fulfill their pledge.

“Rotary is a service organization, and we decided to partner with the Berkley School District for a two-year project with them and felt there needed to be preventative measures when approaching bullying,” Benson said. “There are a lot of consequences to it, and some of our members were bullied when they were in school. There is the possibility of serious consequences, including the loss of life, for people who were bullied, and this is a very good, proactive project in the school system.”

Benson said the Rotary Club has been doing the pancake breakfast as its signature fundraiser since the club’s inception in 1959. The fundraiser always takes place on the first Saturday of November.

In the first year of the partnership during the 2012-13 school year, the Rotary Club helped bring anti-bullying expert Brooks Gibbs to Anderson and Norup International School. Gigliotti said the money also was used to support an anti-bullying poster contest at the elementary level.

“It is tremendous to have community groups support us,” Gigliotti said, “We all have the same goals for our community, and we recognize that making a difference with students will make a difference with our community.”

Berkley Schools Superintendent Dennis McDavid helped establish the partnership between the schools and the Rotary Club. Benson expressed interest in getting more involved with supporting the schools during McDavid’s first year in the district.

“Everything the Rotary Club does is extremely important, and we like to think we are an international organization,” Benson said. “We respond to hurricanes and natural disasters through Rotary International, but we also think the local level is important. The United States and even Berkley may be a lot more fortunate than other parts of the world, but we feel it is important to do stuff locally, so doing projects like this is important to us.”

In the summer, Benson said they would be adding another component to their fight against bullying by putting on a soccer clinic in partnership with the Eastern Michigan University women’s soccer team.

The clinic will be for children ages 8-14; it will not only teach them soccer skills, Benson said, but also good sportsmanship and working together, which is an extension of anti-bullying. The camp will begin May 3 and will be free of charge.

Gigliotti said having a campaign like “No Place for Hate” helps keep the bullying problem at the forefront for students and administrators.

“Our involvement with ‘No Place for Hate’ is very significant because it continues to push us to explore ways to positively impact our school culture,” he said. “We recognize that bullying behaviors can never be eliminated, but how students and the community deal with this will make a difference. We encourage students to take a stand and not be idle bystanders, and our hope is this trickles into our community, as well.”

Anyone with any money is bound to hear from a fraudster at some point. But you can help protect your family and friends by recognizing how investment fraudsters operate and by reporting suspicious sales pitches and actual scams.   We heard many examples of scamming schemes.  When in doubt check it out.  Contact the Better Business Bureau and they can help identify any reported bad business practices.

Scams can take many forms - and fraudsters can turn on a dime when it comes to developing new pitches for the latest fraud. While the wrapper or hook might change, there are common tactics that used by fraudsters to get your money that you need to know. 


Florane hanging out with host mother Pat and the Detroit Yacht Club Regatta  at Metro Beach this weekend.  Everyone decked out for Halloween.

Duplication is a great form of flattery, especially with a worthy project from the Brighton Rotary Club.  They presented their reamp building project that is highly successful for them at district conference.  We thought it is a great project.  Our club has partnered with prospective Berkley Rotary Member Fred Collins who is a builder.  Fred is not a stranger to our club.  He has agreed to supply the labor at cost.  We will partner with the City and Berkley businesses for assistance too.  Our members wanting to assist at the build are also encouraged to get involved.

We expect to start this in a very limited fashion and only to a person in financial need and residing in Berkley.  More to follow.

Jim Gilmore is our District Governor for this Rotary year.


 Rotary members in the Philippines pack relief goods for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Hundreds of Rotary clubs around the world are also coordinating emergency aid packages for hard-hit communities.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Rotary District 3860, Phillipines

Rotary clubs around the world are pledging emergency aid to communities in central Philippines after last week’s massive typhoon flattened entire coastal towns and villages, killed thousands of people, and displaced nearly 600,000 more.

The situation remains dire as widespread destruction has made food, water, and medicine scarce in remote areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm to make landfall on record.

Rotary President Ron Burton is urging our 34,000 clubs worldwide to continue to assist storm victims.

"I know we all want to help. I am urging our clubs to take action to provide emergency aid now and begin planning for the future when we can help rebuild homes, schools, and businesses," says Burton. "We are in the business of helping people in need."

Rotary partner ShelterBox has committed aid for 4,000 families in the form of emergency shelter and other relief assistance.

Such disasters are “exactly why we entered into our partnership with ShelterBox,” says Burton. “It gives Rotary members worldwide the opportunity to respond immediately and in a very meaningful way to the life-threatening conditions faced by the people of the Philippines.”

For nearly 100 years, Rotary clubs in the Philippines have been creating positive change in their communities. The first Philippine Rotary club was formed in Manila in 1919. Today, more than 800 Rotary clubs throughout the Philippines give members the chance to make a difference at home and around the globe.

Rotary's work to eradicate polio, our top priority, began in the Philippines. In 1979, Rotary funded the immunization of six million children with the oral polio vaccine. Based largely on the success there, the World Health Assembly authorized the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in which Rotary is a spearheading partner.

Rotary clubs in the Philippines have improved water and sanitation, led medical and dental missions, created literacy programs, and participated in reforestation plantings. When a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck central Philippines in September, clubs were there to bring aid to those in need.

“Rotary members often are both first-responders and rebuilders when major disasters strike because clubs are present in every corner of the world,” Burton says. “We continue with recovery efforts long after international relief agencies have gone because Rotary clubs are part of the communities we serve.”

For additional information go to

Since the PolioPlus program's inception in 1985,  more than 2 billion children have received oral polio vaccine.  To date, 211 countries, territories, and areas around the world are polio free, and 134 of these have been certified polio-free.  As of June, 2012, Rotary has committed more than $1.2 billion to global polio eradication.  In 2011 - 12, program awards totaled $102.8 billion, including PolioPlus Partner grants.

in 2011-201, Rotary completed the US-200 Million Challenge.  Over the three years of the challenge, Rotarians exceeded the goal, contributing $228.3 million toward polio eradication, to secure $255 million in grants offered by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Rotary districts in New York and New Jersey have collected more than US$90,000 for relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy, which slammed into the northeastern United States on 29 October.
Six affected districts (7230, 7250, 7260, 7490, 7500, and 7640, which include parts of New Jersey, New York, and Bermuda), have been coordinating the efforts aimed at meeting the needs of hard-hit communities. Rotarians worldwide have contributed to the fund.
The destruction is unthinkable,” says Bonnie Sirower, Governor of District 7490 (New Jersey). “There are towns up and down the coast that have been completely wiped away. Several Rotary districts, including mine, have suffered immense damage.”

Sirower says truckloads of clothes, blankets, cleaning supplies, and ready-to-eat meals and other nonperishable food have been arriving in the affected districts. Teams of Rotarians have worked around the clock since the storm hit to sort the items and determine where to deliver them.

Rotarians act quickly

“The response from Rotarians is nothing short of amazing,” says Sirower. “The day before the storm hit, I was receiving calls from clubs around the world asking what they could do to help. We have three warehouses in my town full of supplies that Rotarians have sent to us.”

Governor John Andrews of District 7640 says his neighborhood in Ocean City, New Jersey, looks like a war zone.

“It was heartbreaking to see blocks and blocks of homes destroyed,” says Andrews, whose home suffered minor damages but lost electricity. “I was very lucky, but you have to pay back that luck, and that’s what Rotarians all over this region are doing.”

Andrews says he’s received emails and phone calls from clubs and districts worldwide offering help.

“All of our districts are so used to giving in emergencies like this, it feels so different to be on the receiving end,” says Andrews. “The support shown to us throughout the Rotary world shows we are not alone during this recovery.”

Governors of the six affected districts are asking Rotarians to send donations to their Hurricane Sandy fund. To learn how to donate and to read news updates, visit their website.

Other relief efforts:

  • The Rotary Club of Wall Street New York, is collecting funds this Thanksgiving to help feed more than 5,000 people at the Bowery Mission shelter, many of whom are victims of the storm. The club hopes to collect enough to purchase 200 turkeys. Members are also working with Nazareth Housing on long-term rebuilding projects including purchasing heaters, generators, and furniture for families who lost everything in the storm.
  • The Rotary Club of Murray, Kentucky, USA, is delivering a truckload of clothes, tools, packaged meals, and other relief items to Rotarians in Freeport, New York. Members have also collected more than $1,000 for the affected area.
  • Rotarians in District 7530 (West Virginia, USA) collected 20 generators, and the Rotary Club of Tucker County, West Virginia, is distributing them in areas left without power by several feet of snow.
  • Rotaractors at the Rotary-UN Day distributed 350 boxed lunches to the Bowery Mission in New York City on 3 November.
  • ShelterBox has deployed a response team to distribute temporary shelter and emergency supplies to evacuees. The team is working with Rotary clubs to identify the hardest hit areas. Hundreds of blankets have been sent to shelters.

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