Welcome to our Club

Are you interested in making positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. Becoming a Rotarian connects you with a diverse group who share in your drive to give back. 
Home Page Stories
On June 1 at Domani Ristorante in Hillsdale, Phil Wells presented members with a Park Ridge Rotary Year in Review, summarizing his year as President of our club.  Our activities and accomplishment were many, and included the following:
  • Our year of speakers included the District Governor and representatives of Rise Against Hunger, RYLA, The Onyx and Breezy Foundation, Gift of Life recipients, scholarship recipients and more thanks to the efforts of Steve Hopper
  • We repeated the Dictionary Project in local schools
  • We hosted two Gift of Life patients
  • Service projects included a painting project for the Pascack Mental Health Center and various food drives
  • We supported Interact Clubs, including the collection of over 30 dresses for Becca’s Closet, a relay for life and stop hunger project
  • We had successful fund raisers through Lord & Taylor and Momma’s Kitchen
  • Our annual 5K was the most successful yet; we raised over $20,000
  • During the Rise Against Hunger with Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley students we packaged over 12,000 meals
  • We had a joint Oktoberfest event with the Park Ridge Rec Committee
  • We founded an Elderact Club
  • We helped Hurricane Matthew victims in Haiti
  • Our annual fresh fruit sale was a success thanks to Bernie and Brittany; we raised over $4,000 and established a new relationship with another grove
  • Our annual Christmas party was a success thanks to Fay and Joeen
  • We said goodby to Steve Meccia, who left due to a job relocation
  • We lost our beloved member, Bob Balentine; he will be missed
  • We have several new members: Carinne Murphy, Yasiria Carballo, Josh Feldman, Jojo Ruland and Don Ruschman
  • We switched our lunch meeting location from the Marriott Courtyard to Bellissimo Ristorante
  • We awarded the Stewart Alexander Scholarship to Dr Geoffrey Hespe
  • We participated in the Triboro Memorial Day Parade
  • The Clearwater Sailling trip was a great social event
  • Phil thanked all members for helping to make 2016-2017 a great year for our club
On May 19 at Bellissimo Ristorante in Montvale, members welcomed Nick DiMare, speaking about Rise Against Hunger, a non-profit organization bounded in 198 by Dr. Ray Buchanan, a United Methodist minister and active Rotarian. Originally know as Stop Hunger Now, Rise Against Hunger’s mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.
Rise Against Hunger’s approach is rooted in their history as an organization that galvanizes volunteers to produce millions of nutritious meals annually to in-country partners around the world that are working to serve communities in need. Through their thorough monitoring and evaluation process, they ensure the meals distributed by those partners are used as a tool to change lives by promoting education, improving students’ health and nutrition, addressing gender inequalities, stimulating economic growth and fighting child labor.
Another core focus is responding to crises – both natural and man-made. From droughts to floods, in conflict zones and transitioning political situations, food is often the most immediate need. When everyday access to food, wages,and market systems are destroyed in the wake of emergencies, Rise Against Hunger works through a network of in-country partners to address these needs.
Their third approach to eradicating hunger centers around grassroots community empowerment. Rise Against Hunger bolsters agricultural production and incomes through programs promoting improved agricultural methods, business skills and market access.
Rotary has been  a key partner in Rise Against Hunger’s efforts. Rotarians have packaged almost 30 million meals for Rise Against Hunger.  We will be packaging meals at the International Conference in Atlanta in June.
Image result for rise up hunger
On April 21 at Bellissimo Ristorante in Montvale members welcomed Rotarian Joe Dino who introduced Angela McCabe from the Freedom from Fistula Foundation.  The foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides maternal health care including those in several countries in Africa, including Sierra Leone, Malawi, Kenya and Madagascar.  They treat impoverished women and girls in dire need of medical care due to a number of life threatening conditions. 
A fistula occurs when women and girls are subject to prolonged and obstructed labor during childbirth. It is a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum. Not only do the women frequently lose their babies, but without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment it leaves women leaking urine, feces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems as well as depression, social isolation and eventually deepening poverty.  This condition is almost entirely preventable.
A brief video about the efforts of the Freedom from Fistula Foundation demonstrated the organization’s overall mission to: expand or develop fistula services in Africa; finance access to healthcare during pregnancy and labor and help prevent obstetric fistulas occurring; provide education and empowerment to fistula patients; partner with other organizations and local facilities to improve fistula and maternity care.
Arborist Ron Manning talked about difference in plants flowering trees and woody pines, describing some on the common problem with each. Next he spoke about tree maintenance and signs to look for when a tree is in trouble. Some of the most popular trees in the area include: Norway Maple, Linden, and Bradford Pear.
There was then Question and Answer: If soil becomes super saturated roots can give out. Also, rot can get into a tree from openings in the bark, covering the base or exposed roots. Certain trees will not produce fruit without the other sex tree within proximity.
On April 7 at Bellissimo Ristorante in Montvale members welcomed Rotarian Jennifer Padolina who serves on the Program Committee and is an active Rotarian in the Paramus club.
Today there are over 70 Gift of Life programs throughout the world. The majority of these programs are based in Rotary Clubs and Districts on five continents.
The U.S. Gift of Life program started with a club in Long Island in 1976. The first Gift of Life was a child from Africa. She was not expected to live beyond the age of three or four. However, she is now over 40 and active in the program.
Our District’s program began in 1986. Our District has hosted over 1,100 children.  Out of those 1,100 our club hosted 11. 
Jennifer hosted many Gift of Life patients herself and often relieves other host families, e.g., on weekends. Jennifer also coordinates logistics between patients and hospitals by receiving and referring patient charts. She matches patients to hospitals, including Westchester, St. Josephs and Valley Hospitals.  It costs host clubs about $6,000 per child patient and $9,000 per adult patient.
Jennifer described Gift of Life mission trips and the amount of work involved for members who go.  She concluded her talk by reminding Rotarians what a life-changing experience it is to participate in Gift of Life (whether domestic or mission) and invited us to attend one of their meetings to learn more.

P.O. Box 265, Park Ridge, New Jersey 07656

Park Ridge

Service Above Self

1st, 3rd, and 5th Fridays at Bellissimo's Restaurant at 12:15 PM; 2nd Th. Domani Restaurant, 387 Washington Av., Hillsdale at 6:30; 4th Th. The Cornerstone Restaurant, 84 Broadway, Hillsdale at 5:30.
Bellissimo's Restaurant
12 S. Kinderkamack Rd.
Montvale , NJ  07645
United States
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