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. 
 
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Program
 
On August 3, 2018 at the Dean Mansion at the Atrium for Senior Living in Park Ridge, NJ, Steve Hopper led a program to introduce this year’s college scholarship winners: Laura Fusco, Sophie Hoffman and Claire Perez.  Each winner introduced herself to the Club and told us about their future plans.
 
Laura Fusco will be attending Lesley University in Cambridge, MA this fall.  There she will study photography and graphic design.  Her love of photography started with an English project back in 8th grade about Romeo and Juliet where her report included pictures of friends in Shakespeare roles, video and more.   Her dream career is to work with National Geographic, travel the world and share the beauty of life with everyone.
 
Sophie Hoffman will attend University of Delaware this fall.  She loves working with kids and there she plans to study education.  As a RYLA graduate, Sophie attributes her experience during her RYLA weekend with changing not only her view of herself but also the leadership foundation for her future.
 
Claire Perez will attend Boston College this autumn.  At BC, Claire intends to combine her study the liberal arts in combination with either mathematics or engineering.  Similar to her experience and achievements in Scouting, Claire plans to pursue a career that makes a difference in people’s lives.
 
From Left: Laura Fusco, Claire Perez, Steve Hopper, VP, June Bertini, President and Sophie Hoffman.
 
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. 
Program
 
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

Club # 5591 1st, 3rd and 5th Fridays at The William H Dean Mansion, 124 Noyes Drive, Park Ridge NJ 07656 at 12:15 PM; 2nd Thursday at Hearth and Tap, 125 Kinderkamack Rd., Montvale, NJ at 6 :00 PM. Check Website for 4th Thursday Meeting Details http:
The William H Dean Mansion
124 Noyes Drive
Park Ridge, NJ  07656
United States
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