From The Top
 
President-Elect Charlie Spencer opened the meeting with the pledge led by Gus Fishel, and grace by Scott Lockwood’s guest Rev. Tom Carney. Today’s guest speaker was Nick Esposito.
 
Announcements
 
April Food Drive This month’s food drive will be held on Sunday, April 15th. There are still a few open volunteer slots; if you can help, please contact Chris Cunningham (chris.cnnnghm@gmail.com) NOW.
 
Board Meeting Next Week – The next meeting of the BRC Board of Directors will be held at 11:30 AM on Wednesday, April 18 (moved from the second to the third Wednesday in April). All members are invited to attend.
 
Next Networking Meeting – Our next Happy Hour/Networking meeting will be held 5:30 PM on Tuesday, April 24th at Primi  Italian Steakhouse, 999 Montauk Hwy., West Islip (just east of Robert Moses Causeway, on north side). This will be a joint meeting with the West Islip Chamber of Commerce.
 
Arbor Day – Our Annual Arbor Day ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 26th at the Paul J. Bellew Elementary School (the school next to the library) in West Islip. Festivities begin at 9:45 AM. All are invited to join in as the kids eagerly adopt their seedlings and are mesmerized by Scott’s discourse on the importance of trees and conservation.
 
As in recent years, the good folks at the Babylon Beach House prep and package nearly 2000 seedlings for distribution to all of the third-graders in each school district in our service area. During this nearly fifty year, Babylon Rotary tradition, tens of thousands of trees have been distributed and planted; many large specimens can be seen throughout our local community today.
 
This month about 1400 seedlings will be distributed to kids in 15 elementary schools in Babylon, West Babylon, North Babylon and West Islip school districts. Please be sure to ask Scott, Alice or Josie how you can help.
 
Dirty Sock Run – Project Chair Chris Korte has scheduled the first planning committee meeting for the Dirty Sock Run for Wednesday, May 2nd, 11:30 AM at Lily Flanagan’s Pub. Since this Sunday, August 12th event is our only major fundraiser this year, it’s vital that all members get behind the project and attend the meeting.
 
Golf Outing – Project Chair Neil Weingarten reports that our Annual Golf Outing will be held Tuesday, July 10th at the Willow Creek Golf Club in Mount Sinai. As in recent years, this will be a joint event with the Rotary clubs of Bay Shore, Islip, and Syosset-Woodbury. Details to follow.
 
Wine & Food Expo – Since continuation of our “Endless Summer” Wine & Food Expo is not to be for this year, planning is on z’temporary hold.” Deliberations will begin in the near future for a fundraiser to be held early 2019.
 
The immediate task for the committee is to determine how we can enhance the income potential of our only remaining major fundraiser, the Dirty Sock Run. As always, we’re seeking everyone’s new ideas. If you’d like to help, please contact Jim (jim@meta5.com) or Chris Korte (ckorte@cruiseplanners.com).
 
Special Program Scheduled – We will host a special presentation on the Good Samaritan Stroke Center, Tuesday, May 22nd at 5:30 PM in the Babylon Public Library. This meeting replaces our usual (4th Tuesday of the month) Happy Hour/Networking meeting. 
 
Rotary Foundation – All are reminded that our club subscribes to the Rotary initiative of “Every Rotarian, Every Year,” whereby all club members are encouraged to donate $100 each year to the Rotary Foundation. To help meet this goal, members are asked to contribute $50, and the club will match it with another $50. The simplest way to make your donation is through the Rotary International website (rotary.org); just click on “GIVE” and follow the prompts. If you have any questions about donating to the Rotary Foundation, please contact Frank Seibert (fjseibertcca@hotmail.com).
 
Today’s Program
 
Nick Esposito spoke about “Greater Babylon”, an independent, web-based, community news service, engaging a local audience daily with fun and interesting stories, announcements, and photos.
 
Beginning with the community news website greaterpatchogue.com  in 2015, the service was expanded into other communities, establishing Greater Long Island Media Group LLC.
 
Nick Esposito is the editor of the “Greater Babylon”, part of the greaterlongisland.com group of local news sites.
He explained that this is a magazine-style, daily news website with a focus on quality writing and storytelling. The emphasis is on features and community news — as opposed to crime and politics.
 
Nick invited everyone to visit their website frequently, submit notices, articles, and photos of new, interesting events, and notify him of happenings in the community that should be covered in their publication. They are striving to become the “go-to” source of local news for the Babylon community.
 
Next Week’s Meeting
Since the BRC board meets next Wednesday, April 18th, our regular meeting will be a Fellowship Meeting . We’ll have lots of time to chat with fellow members and guests. We’ll also hear about, and discuss, results of that day’s board meeting.