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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. 
 
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On March 2, 2018 at Bellissimo Ristorante in Montvale, members of the Park Ridge Rotary gathered to hear Captain Joseph Rampolla of the Park Ridge Police Department. The subject of his talk was School Safety in Park Ridge, particularly in light of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14.
 
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Captain Rampolla has more than 20 years of service in Park Ridge. He grew up in Washington Township and later moved to Park Ridge.  He has a Bachelors degree in criminal justice and, in addition to police service, has worked in a correctional facility.   As an Officer he as been involved with DARE, a Computer Task Force and school safety. 
 
Captain Rampolla noted that the tragedies at Columbine and Newtown changed law enforcement.  Especially after the Newtown shootings, police realized that they have to get into buildings as quickly as possible.  Although he did not know all the specifics of the Parkland shootings, Captain Rampolla noted that in these situations there is a lot of confusion.  He further provided cautionary advice, such as when one enters a building it is important to look for where the exits are and be continuously aware of the surroundings.  In a shooting situation, it is vital to run, hide or fight, in that order.
 
Regarding safety in our schools, Captain Rampolla explained that New Jersey has an Office of Homeland Security, a state version of the Federal Homeland Security organization.  Their charter includes counter-terrorism (including domestic terrorism).  He is the contact point with this organization for Park Ridge. The relationship enables the police to get constant information on events around the state. Also in place are a Bergen County SWAT team and a school safety task force. Within the Park Ridge schools, police have frequent lock down drills and police training on various scenarios.  They often learn ways to improve their response from these events.  In addition to the drills, there are frequent school walk-throughs and the assignment of retired police officers to be on site.  Outstanding concerns include more training for substitute teachers, and additional protocols for school bus and playground situations. 
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On January 19, 2018 at Bellissimo Ristorante in Montvale, members of the Park Ridge Rotary gathered to hear a presentation from Howard Hellman, Founder and Chairman of All Bright Electric Company, Nyack, NY and member of the Nyack, NY Rotary Club. After being introduced by Jan, Howard went on to tell us about his background, work and Rotary experiences.
 
Howard was born and raised in Spring Valley NY.  Although he acknowledged that he was a “horrible student” he managed to graduate from Rockland Community College and Oneonta State College where he majored in Psychology.  During his time at Oneonta he had a mini-business driving students back and forth for weekends.  He couldn’t do anything with his psychology degree, so he returned to an activity started as a teenager and started an electrical business. He became very successful at this business.  Later on, he also became a developer and is now planning a 100-lot subdivision near Stewart Airport. In his business he tries to hire the best and smartest people he can.
 
Howard collected fire trucks and once owned a real one. His efforts to find a building in Nyack to house the fire truck was doubly successful for the building later became his business headquarters as well. Several years ago, a local architect asked Howard if wanted to join the Nyack Rotary Club. He has not only been a member ever since, but at one point served as club president.
 
The Nyack Rotary Club has about 25-30 members. They meet weekly, 3 times a month for lunch at La Fontana Restaurant in Nyack and, beginning Feb. 1, one evening a month at Prohibition River in Nyack. The club's biggest mission is education. Projects include a reading program for younger children, work with Junior Achievement for Junior High School students and a scholarship program for high school students. You can learn more about their club by visiting their Nyack Rotary Facebook page.
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P.O. Box 265, Park Ridge, New Jersey 07656

Park Ridge

Service Above Self

1st, 3rd, & 5th Fri at Bellissimo's Rest., 12 S. K’kamack Rd. Montvale @ 12:15PM; 2nd Thu. Domani Rest., 387 Washington Av., Hillsdale @ 6:30PM; 4th Thu: For Social event CHECK WEBSITE. For Rotary Means Business, Cornerstone, 84 B’way, Hillsdale @ 5P
P.O. Box 265
Park Ridge, NJ  07656
United States
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