Posted on May 18, 2019
Date & Time :  Saturday, May 18, 2019
Registration starts 8:00 AM, Tournament 9:00AM -11AM
Location:Powder Horn Lodge at Powder Mills Park

PITTSFORD, NEW YORK - Catch the fun at the 23rd Annual Kids' Trout Fishing Derby.
. This year’s Derby will be held Saturday, May 18th in Powder Mills Park at the Powder Horn Lodge in conjunction with the Town of Pittsford and the Monroe County Parks Department.
The event is FREE.  Registration starts at 8:00 am, for kids 15 years of age and younger. 
The fishing contest will run between 9:00 to 11:00 AM, followed by an awards ceremony and fish hatchery tour at 11:30 AM.  Complimentary refreshments will be served.
The Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park will be stocking fish for this event. Donations will be accepted on their behalf.  In addition, special thanks are due to The Riedman Foundation for funding and operating the Hatchery and making the Pittsford Rotary Club Fishing Derby possible.
This is the 23rd year that The Rotary Club of Pittsford will host the Kids’ Trout Fishing Tournament.
Rotarian and fishing enthusiast Harry Womeldorf organized the club’s first “Kids Derby” in 1997. Since then, over 3000 children have taken part in this Western New York event. The emphasis is on experiencing the adventure and excitement of fishing with family members of all ages
Kids' Trout Fishing Derby 2019-05-18 04:00:00Z 0
The Taste of Pittsford 2019-03-11 04:00:00Z 0
testinhg 2017-12-27 05:00:00Z 0
We came again on Wednesday, April 4, 2017, to the Pittsford Community Library for hot breakfast and fellowship.
Our guest speaker was John Strazzabosco, Jeanne’s husband, who spoke to us about the impacts of poverty in our community.
We were also joined by former Rotarian and Grace's son, Taylor Soong, and Mohammed Ahamed, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Nazareth College. As always, our lovely Exchange student from France, Julie Possion attended today's meeting.
Come join us this Friday, 5pm-7pm, April 7th at Lemoncello for First Friday Fellowship!  The address is 137 West Commercial Street, East Rochester, NY 14445.  Support one of our own sponsor restaurants who helped us have such a successful event last month!
April 5 Meeting Highlights 2017-04-05 04:00:00Z 0
We received several late silent bid items thanks to the generosity of Charlie Fitzsimmons, so we auctioned these off at our meeting.  Jeanne opened the binds until to 8:30 AM for Black and Blue gift certificate Value = $100,  JoJo’s  gift certificate   Value = $  75, Trata gift certificate Value = $  75, and Village Bakery gift certificate Value = $  30
We welcomed District Governor-Elect Don Milton who joined us to say a few words about the upcoming 2017-18 Rotary year which starts on July 1 and Assistant District Governor Susie Rose also joined us to talk about her 3 years as ADG for our Club.
Pres. Elect Whit Merrill announced Club meeting formats for 2017-18.
March 29 Meeting Highlights 2017-03-29 04:00:00Z 0
At today's meeting, we welcomed Will Price and guest speaker, Mara Ahmed, a film maker & Pittsford parent.  Mara Ahmed was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She has lived and been educated in Belgium, Pakistan and the United States. She has an MBA and a second master's degree in Economics. She worked in corporate finance for many years before launching her career in film. It was in 2004 that Ahmed resigned from her job as a Senior Financial Analyst at a Rochester company in order to focus on art and film.
March 8 Meeting Highlights 2017-03-08 05:00:00Z 0
There continues to be a lot happening behind the scenes in preparation for the 14th Annual Taste of Pittsford extravaganza thanks to Jim Murphy, Harold McAulliffe, Jeanne Strazzabosco, Lynn Freshman, Pam Wright and many others. Please be certain that you have signed up to play a role during the evening if you have not done so already. At today's meeting, a few more bottles of red and white wine were donated for auction baskets of our silent auction. Please continue to encourage everyone you know to attend.
Our guest from Canandaigua Rotary Club, John Spare, joined us today, to present an 8-minute video on the District 7120 Convention in Erie, PA from May 19 – 21.  We watched DG Tom Rogers and Conference Co-chair Bob Palumbo discuss the conference at the Ambassador Center (7794 Peach St. -- Erie, Pa. -- 16509). Check-in begins Friday at noon.  The Conference ends Sunday at 1:00 PM. Join the District for an outing or a round of golf with your fellow Rotarians. Make new friends, renew acquaintances, and have fun at Casino Night. You will be supporting a great cause while you play for fun. The cost will include registration for the conference itself, the cost of your hotel reservation, and any optional events you choose to attend.  These costs are outlined below:

Registration itself (required): $175 through Mar. 31;  $200 Apr. 1 and later.  
Friday Dinner:  Included
Friday Golf Outing (optional): $75 (cart included)
Friday All-In Casino Night: Starter chips included
Saturday Breakfast:  Included
Saturday Picnic (optional): $25
Saturday Luncheon Cruise (optional): $30
Saturday Reception & Banquet: Included (cash bar)
Sunday Brunch: Included
Pat Mallery brought photos of the latest Interact Club activity.  This time, the Interact Club volunteers were dry and warm compared to when they dipped into the freezing waters of Lake Ontario at the 2017 Polar Plunge. Pete Crooker and Pat drove them to the Salem Nutrition Center.  There, they prepared and served lunch to the homeless. Exchange student Julie Poisson, and today's guest, Victoria Soong (daugher of Rotarian Grace Soong), were both volunteers at Salem.
We welcomed our guest speaker, veteran Alvin Herdklotz, who spoke about the history of the Rayson-Miller Post in the Town of Pittsford.
February 22 Meeting Highlights 2017-02-22 05:00:00Z 0
We met again on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, in the Pittsford Community Library for breakfast and fellowship. Rotarians brought in 3 bottles of wine for auction baskets for our March 13 “Taste of Pittsford” gala at Nazareth College.  There continues to be a lot happening behind the scenes in preparation for this annual extravaganza thanks to Jim Murphy, Harold McAulliffe, Jeanne Strazzabosco and others.  Please continue to encourage everyone you know to attend and sell those tickets.
Whit Merrill is coordinating attendees for upcoming District 7120 District Training Assembly on Saturday, Apr 8 at  Newark High School.Save the date for the Rotary District 7120 Conference on Fri, May 19 to Sun, May 21 at the Ambassador Center, in Erie, PA.
We welcomed our Nazareth College Scholarship Award winners, Angela Tona and Monica Grisdale, who were accompanied by Sandy Halbstein and Jamie Fazio, Development Coordinators at Nazareth College.
Angela Tona is a senior studying Social Work, Interfaith Studies, and Music. Currently a full-time intern with the Metro Justice Center, her passion for service and knowledge has led her to serve at multiple agencies in the city of Rochester such as Asbury Dining and Caring Center, SWAN, the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue, and others. She has taken advantage of many opportunities abroad in countries such as Turkey, India, Germany, and Poland studying the history of Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism. Angela plans to spend a year serving with Americorps after graduating in May of 2017.
Monica Grisdale is a junior occupational therapy student at Nazareth College with a minor in psychology. She dedicates time to the community through her volunteer work with the Special Olympics, Best Buddies at Nazareth College and various events for children who attend Rochester City schools.
February 8 Meeting Highlights 2017-02-08 05:00:00Z 0
We met again on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, in the Pittsford Community Library for breakfast and fellowship.
FYI, if Pittsford Schools close or delay Wednesday morning due to weather conditions, we do not meet.   
Kevin O’Grady talked us about the benefits of being an annual club member sponsor from January 1 through December 31.  Pres. Matt was a “Ruby” level club sponsor in 2016 and will be once again this year.  Do consider a club sponsorship at a level that is right for you.
Today's guests were Rotarian Rachel Baker August, of the Rotary Club of Rochester, and former Pittsford Rotarian Colleen Farley.

Of course, tickets are on sale for the March 13 “Taste of Pittsford” at Nazareth College.  There continues to be a lot happening behind the scenes in preparation for this annual gala event thanks to Jim Murphy and his team.  Please continue to sell tickets.

In fact, some Rotarians already brought in a bottle of wine or two for several baskets that we can create to be auctioned off at The Taste.
Save the date -– Saturday, May 6  for R-Community Bike Drop.   More to come from Steve Wilterdink in the weeks ahead.
Save the date -– Saturday, May 20 for our Annual Fishing Derby.   More to come from Kevin O’Grady in the weeks ahead.
Save this date -- Wednesday, June 28 at The Highlands for our annual Change-over dinner.  
We welcomed Joan G. Malley, the Managing Director of Harbor House of Rochester.  The Mission of Harbor House of Rochester, Inc. is to provide temporary lodging for families of adult critical care patients who live outside the Rochester area and are receiving care at the University of Rochester Medical Center or other area hospitals. Harbor House provides a “home-away-from-home” environment of safe and supportive living that eases the emotional and financial burdens on families.
The Harbor House of Rochester is a four-bedroom facility, located two short blocks south of the University of Rochester Medical Center. You will find the peaceful home situated in the quaint Upper Mt. Hope neighborhood at 89 Rossiter Road.
February 1 Meeting Highlights 2017-02-01 05:00:00Z 0
We met again on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, as usual, in the Pittsford Community Library for breakfast and fellowship.
Do encourage colleagues of yours outside of the Rotary family to come and see first-hand what we do as a civic service-oriented Club.  We had at least two guests last week thanks to Jeanne Strazzabosco (Zena Dorsey) and Don Henderson (Akua Ajuvon).  Pres. Matt invited both to return in the morning.  Others who bring guests should definitely encourage them to return.
This week's guests are Julie Poisson, exchange Student from France, Zena Dorsey, guest of Jeanne Strazzabosco (her second time) and Erick Bond of Bond Financial, an
employee benefits consulting firm in Pittsford.

Tickets are on sale for the March 13 “Taste of Pittsford” at Nazareth College. There continues to be a lot happening behind the scenes in preparation for this annual gala event, thanks to Jim Murphy and his dedicated and motivated team. Please encourage all family, friends, neighbors and professional colleagues to join us for an evening of fine dining.  This is the time to see the best of the Club in action.
Save the date -– Saturday, May 6 for our annual R Community Bike Drop.   More to come from Steve Wilterdink in the weeks ahead.
January 25 Meeting Highlights 2017-01-25 05:00:00Z 0

We met again on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, as usual, in the Pittsford Community Library for breakfast and fellowship.
DGE Vinay Asthana and his wife Seema from India, our visitors last Wednesday and Western New York tourists last week, are now in California.  Thanks to Bob Vukosic for acting as tour guide for much of the week. And Pittsford Rotarian Jai and Shashi Goel, their hosts for dinner on Friday evening, left for India last night.  They return in a couple of weeks.
Many thanks to Peter Crooker, Jim Cameron, Eli Bannister and Whit Merrill (and sons) for their efforts last Saturday at the Saints Place warehouse.
Of course, tickets are on sale for the March 13 “Taste of Pittsford” at Nazareth College.  There has been a lot happening behind the scenes in preparation for this annual gala event.
Paul Schenkel, Commissioner of Public Works for the Town of Pittsford, will return to the Club to speak to us about the first-ever Pittsford Community Garden we are sponsoring with Service Budget funds and a District 7120 Simplified Grant.
January 18 Meeting Highlights 2017-01-18 05:00:00Z 0
Many thanks to Peter Crooker, Jim Cameron, Eli Bannister and Whit Merrill (and sons) for their efforts last Saturday at the Saints Place warehouse.
Saint's Place Volunteer Day 2017-01-14 05:00:00Z 0
Happy New Year!  We hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday week and is ready for all that 2017 has to offer.
We reconvened for the second half of the 2016-17 Rotary year on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, as usual in the Pittsford Community Library for breakfast.
Vice President Sharon Garofanello informed Pres. Matt yesterday that her father, Joseph Garofanello, passed away Christmas week.
The obituary will be in Wednesday's paper.  Calling hours are Friday, January 6, 2017, from 4:00PM to 8:00PM at Falvo Funeral Home in Webster.  The funeral mass is Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 10:30AM at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Flower City Park in Rochester.
Please keep Sharon, her father and the entire extended Garofanello family in your thoughts and prayers.
JANUARY HAS ARRIVED! Whit is sponsoring a “First Friday” evening at the Erie Grill this coming Friday, January 6 at 5:00 pm.
Isabel Miller requests our assistance organizing the Saints Place warehouse on Saturday, January 14, instead of January 7.
Tickets are on sale already for the March 13 “Taste of Pittsford” gala at Nazareth College.
Pres. Matt spoke this week about how Pittsford residents voted on Election Day.
January 7 Meeting Highlights 2017-01-04 05:00:00Z 0
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 was our 23th Rotary week together this Rotary year.  We hope that everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday!
Thank you to everyone who brought available “bags and mags” to our meeting today. We will put them to good use at the Pittsford Food Cupboard and Saint's Place.
We had a wonderful holiday celebration complete with raffles and auctions last Thursday, December 1, at Monroe Golf Club.  Many thanks to Club members who kindly donated live auction baskets -- and yes, one ornamental tree of scratch-offs -- to the festive evening.
Richard Colby and Pat Mallery highlighted Tuesday's, December 6, “Candlelight Night” in the Town of Pittsford.  Lynn Freshman had a wonderful evening with RI President John Germ at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center for the 91st Eastern Cities Dinner.
Don’t forget to read Sophie McCormick’s latest account of life “down under” (click here) as our outbound exchange student in Australia.
Don’t get scammed!  Jason Ingalls from Canandaigua National Bank, our guest speaker, shared several types of scams and showed us how to safeguard our electronic identity and assets this holiday season.
December 7 Meeting Highlights 2016-12-07 05:00:00Z 0
The Arc of Monroe County offers a variety of welcoming, caring community residential facilities that meet the needs of people with a range of abilities. The Rotary Club of Pittsford  hosts a Christmas party annually for as many as thirty-seven ARC of Monroe residents, staff and executives who live and work at any of the ARC residences in Pittsford. Twelve Rotarians, three spouses and fourteen Interactors signed-up to host the event last Saturday, Dec. 3.
Rotary exchange student Julie Poisson and Rotarian Pat Mallery picked up the food donated by Wegmans.  They arrived at Calkins Road Middle School around 10:30 a.m. Thanks to Pittsford School Superintendent Mike Pero, the venue was free of charge. Pat asked the Interact Clubs of Pittsford members to be there by 10:30 to help move the food, games and decorations to the dining area.  They set-up two aisles outside the school's serving area for the buffet lunch.  Other than ice, we didn't use anything from the CRMS kitchen.  They also helped with decorating the Christmas tree, set-up, clean up and tear down.
The Interact Clubs of Pittsford also celebrated with a sheet cake for dessert to commemorate having logged 20,000 hours of community service over the past fifteen years.
Pat brought the song sheets we use for Candlelight night and Harold McAuliffe led the sing-along.  Julie played the piano and Victoria Soong played Christmas songs from her I-phone. Rotarian Gaven Hurley played Santa again this year and he gave each of our guests five scratch-off lottery cards for their Christmas presents.
Annual Special Friends Holiday Party 2016-12-03 05:00:00Z 0
We welcome you to attend the 14th annual "A Taste of Pittsford" on Monday March 13, 2017, 6:00 to 8:30 PM at the Nazareth College, Shults Center.  This elegant evening out is an opportunity to enjoy ALL the exceptional tastes of Pittsford's fine dining establishments, Finger Lakes area wineries, craft brewers and spirit makers.  In the past 13 years, this event has raised over $100,000.  Funds go directly to the many projects and causes that the Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation supports, including the first-ever Pittsford Community Garden, Pittsford Food Cupboard and Saint's Place.
Tickets are $45 per person ($300 group of 8) and may be purchased as follows:
  • By mail:  Rotary Club of Pittsford, NY, PO Box 161, Pittsford, NY 14534 (make checks out to "Pittsford Rotary Foundation")
  • Online (click on the PayPal link above)
    Photo by David Boyer
A Taste of Pittsford - Monday, March 13 , 2017 2016-11-30 05:00:00Z 0
Purchase Taste of Pittsford Tickets Online 2016-11-30 05:00:00Z 0
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, marked our 20th week together this 2016-17 Rotary year. We returned to the library for our typical sunrise breakfast meeting after a most successful Election Day evening of pasta, sauce and meatballs. Now that we served 800+ suppers last Tuesday, we are closing the books on our second of three major Club fundraisers this Rotary year! Today's guest is exchange student Julie Poisson.
DECEMBER IS BUSY! SAVE THESE DATES! Our Annual Holiday Party is Thursday evening, December 1 at Monroe Golf Club, and takes the place of our Wednesday morning meeting on November 30. The event promises to be festive and fun with raffles and a sing-a-long with Lynn and Manny Freshman. Please register now with Sharon Garofanello.
Saturday, December 3, is our “Special Friends Luncheon” at Calkins Road Middle School. Pat Mallery told us that he is preparing for 100 guests including 21 ARC of Monroe residents and staff, families and friends of Rotarians and Interact volunteers.
Tuesday, December 6, is the traditional “Candlelight Night” in the Town of Pittsford. Richard Colby passed out a sign-up sheet to volunteer as bell ringers for the Salvation Army.
RI President John Germ will be featured by the Rochester Rotary Club at the Joseph Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, also on December 6. We have reserved a table of ten already for the dinner.
Finally, Pat Mallery is bell ringing with the Interact volunteers all day at Eastview Mall on December 17.
Club member Bill Taylor was our guest speaker at today's meeting. He reflected on his first of 14 years of duty as an elected New York State Supreme Court Judge. He shared some very interesting tort cases. Judge Taylor was formerly Pittsford Town Justice and County Attorney.
November 16 Meeting Highlights 2016-11-17 05:00:00Z 0
Our 50th Annual Pasta Supper turned out to be an incredibly memorable event as we served well over 800 meals, a Club record.  And as we realized later that evening after final clean-up of the Pittsford Mendon High School Commons, November 8, 2016, won’t be forgotten for more than just the fabulous pasta dinners we served.
Co-chair Pete Crooker authored a heartfelt thank-you on behalf of fellow chair Don Henderson.  Pete’s message to the Club follows.
Pittsford Rotarians:
Don Henderson and I wish to express our sincere gratitude for the great effort club members turned in for the 50th Annual Election Day Pasta Supper Tuesday evening.
Surplus food has been donated and everything has been wrapped up except for some of the members who have yet to settle up with ticketmaster Harold McAulliffe.
In a nutshell, 2016 ticket sales relative to 2015 sales ended as follows:
    “Dine In” tickets taken at the line = 345, up 29 over last year;
    “Take Out” tickets collected = 106, up 31 over last year;
    “Drive Thru” tickets collected = 240, up 48;
    Total tickets collected = 691, up 108.
All in all, we served over 800 meals including complimentary ones to Veterans, Interactors, custodians, ARC home residents and hospitality student volunteers from RIT and MCC.  
Many offered praise for "not just your average pasta fund raising meal, but an excellent one."
Don and the entire kitchen crew -- and Luke Stuart and his take-out/drive-thru squad -- really made the supper a fabulous success.
As far as sponsorships went, we had 19 Bronze/Silver/Gold sponsors, resulting in $3600.  The first-time “Poster Sponsor” effort resulted in 7 new backers, yielding an additional $350.
In closing, I have enjoyed working with Don and club members and friends of Rotary for the past 15 years as co-chair of the supper; I am looking forward to a much smaller role hereafter.

President Matt adds a personal thanks to all of our participating membership and our outstanding Co-chairs Peter and Don. You all absolutely exemplify our motto of “Service above Self.”  
2016 50th Anniversary Pasta Supper 2016-11-16 05:00:00Z 0
Pittsford Rotary's 50th Annual Pasta Supper is on Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 5-7:30 p.m. at Mendon High School, 472 Mendon Rd, Pittsford, NY 14534. Tickets may be purchased in advance from Pittsford Rotarians or can be purchased at the door. Tickets may also be purchased online with a $1 saving on each ticket ordered. You can also save $1 per ticket  with a Valpak coupon or a Brighton Pittsford Post event flyer after November 3rd.
The menu includes penne pasta and sauce, tossed salad, breadstick, beverage and Abbott's frozen custard.  A slice of our 50th Anniversary cake will be served to the first 100 patrons.
Meals may be eaten in the dining room, taken out or picked up by driving through a special line. Musical entertainment will be provided by Lynn and Manny Freshman.  There will also be fun and games for the children.
Proceeds support Pittsford Food Cupboard, Habitat for Humanity, Saints' Place, Student Services Awards and many other Rotary charities.
50th Annual Election Night Pasta Supper 2016-11-08 05:00:00Z 0
Our 18th meeting of the year was Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at the library.  President Matt was out of town, but we were in good hands with President-Elect Whit Merrill, who presided over our meeting.  Whit attended Rotary Leadership Institute last weekend and shared his insight on the training and informational session. Today's guests were exchange student Julie Poisson and guest speaker, Julie Wittig.
Since we were meeting for the first time in November, some members brought shopping bags and old mags.  Rotarian Pete Crooker puts them to good use at the Pittsford Food Cupboard and elsewhere.
We have less than a week to go!  Peter Brown collected for Harold McAulliffe this week.  Election Night Pasta Supper is next Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  Don Henderson discussed assignments for that evening.
Remember that our next FRIDAY FELLOWSHIP – FRIDAY is on NOVEMBER 4 at Mesa Grande Taqueria in Fairport.  Mesa Grande Taqueria is a quick and casual, California-Mexican style Taqueria that offers fresh food in a fast-paced environment. Burritos are their specialty, but you can enjoy tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads and more.  Come out and support a Taste sponsor.
There was a sign-up sheet for Saints Place for this coming Saturday, November 5.  Most likely, we will be organizing another apartment for a refugee family.  Thanks to Bob Vukosic, Craig Kunkle and Jeanne Strazzabosco who have volunteered so far.  A few more members would be a plus.
  • Our Holiday Party is Thursday evening, December 1 at Monroe Golf Club and will take the place of our Wednesday morning meeting on November 30.
  • Saturday, December 3, is our “Special Friends Luncheon” at Calkins Road Middle School.
  • Tuesday, December 6 is “Candlelight Night” in the Town of Pittsford
  • Tuesday, December 6 is also the rescheduled date for RI President John Germ, who will be featured by the Rochester Rotary Club at the Joseph Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.  We have reserved a table already for the dinner.
  • Pat Mallery is sponsoring bell ringing with the Interactors all day at Eastview Mall on Saturday, December 17.
Our exchange student in Australia sent her reflections on the month of October.  We are pleased that she is enjoying her time "down under" with a new host family who she introduced to Halloween.  Click here to read her letter and enjoy the photos she sent our way.
Julie Wittig from the Pittsford Central Schools District was our guest speaker.  She represents career exploration and community service in the district and has over 30 years of marketing, sales and finance experience with corporations, small businesses, advertising agencies and non-profit organizations. Julie is a certified grant writer and National Career Development Facilitator.
November 2 Meeting Highlights 2016-11-02 04:00:00Z 0
The Pittsford Halloween Festival is a good example of how the town and Rotary Club can work together to  benefit the entire community. The Town of Pittsford’s 14th annual Family Halloween Fest was on Sunday, 10/23 from 2 – 5PM at the St. John Fisher College Student Life Center. The fest is a fun family trick-or-treat alternative featuring games, crafts, activities, refreshments and an annual costume parade at 3:30pm. Admission is free, however guests are asked to bring one canned food item per person to benefit the Pittsford Food Cupboard.
Once again, thanks to Pat Mallery, who orchestrated a wonderful afternoon last Sunday with all the enthusiastic and well-costumed Interactors, who also deserve our gratitude.  Many thanks, too, to all our Rotary volunteers, and especially our chief organizer, Pam Wright, for creating another memorable affair.
Halloween Fest, 2016 2016-10-26 04:00:00Z 0
We salute Jai and Shashi Goel who have achieved “major donor” status with the Rotary Foundation as ten year members of the Paul Harris Society.
Jai Goel: Paul Harris Society 2016-10-26 04:00:00Z 0
Our 16th meeting of the year was Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at the library. We welcomed our guests, Rekha Shrivastava and Rotary Exchange student, Julie Poisson.
Pres. Matt was not sure what to expect last week with our guest speaker, Daphne Pariser spoke about her “Humans for Education” initiative in Kenya.  But what a pleasant surprise.  We Club members are now proud owners of two cows - Gaven and Cory - which will make a difference to the Kenyan villages they support. Thanks to the tremendous generosity of last week's attendees.
We received a thank you letter from Daphne:
Dear Matt,
I would like to personally thank you for allowing me to present at your Rotary club. I really enjoyed myself and was overwhelmed by the generosity of your club. I look forward to staying in contact and sharing photos of your cow in December. As our organization is continuing to grow we are always looking for volunteers or interns. If you potentially know anyone who may have the ability to volunteer a few hours a week in any of these areas, please let me know: finance, education, grant writing, secretarial duties, and web design. Lastly, I was wondering if you happen to personally know any Rotarians working in Kenya? I would love to get more involved in the community over there.
Again, I really appreciate everything you have done for the organization and myself so far. I actually had tea this morning in the mug you gave me after my presentation!
Thank you, Daphne
Humans for Education
Keep selling those $50 poster sponsorships to the Pasta Supper, new this year!  Pres. Matt has sold several already.
Pete Crooker briefed us on the Pasta Supper (November 8), the Habitat “HIP” house dedication (November 19), the Habitat pie sale and the East Street clean-up this past weekend.  Harold McAuliffe also provided a “word” or two on the Dictionary Project so far this week with our third graders. Steve Wilterdink briefed us on Rotary Foundation Giving.
Don’t forget that we are volunteering for the annual Halloween-Fest with the Town of Pittsford on Sunday, October 23, at St. John Fisher College.
Sharon Garofanello introduced our guest speaker, Rekha Shrivastava, who spoke about methods to relieve stress, pain and anxiety.  Rekha is a certified hypnotist and rehabilitation counselor with 20+ years of experience at Unity Health Systems.  Rekha has interacted with physicians, dentists and many other professionals as clients to help them deal with vexing everyday problems like obesity, stress, pain, smoking, addiction, PTSD, relationship issues, children's emotional problems, OCD, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression and so on.  She also demostrated a 15-minute group hypnosis session.
October 19 Meeting Highlights 2016-10-20 04:00:00Z 0
During the late 1980s, the New York State Department of Transportation re-assessed its priorities in view of a declining work force and a reduced operating budget. DOT's first priority was then - and is now - to operate the state's highways and bridges safely and cost-effectively; for example, to resolve safety issues, to maintain pavement and guide rail or to control ice and snow. As a result, fewer and fewer resources were available for roadside beautification or other aesthetic-related activities.
The Rotary Club of Pittsford has signaled its commitment to keeping Pittsford beautiful by adopting East St. from Rt. 96 to Mile Sq. Rd, a 3-mile stretch, and pledging to keep it litter-free.
DOT outfitted us with the appropriate orange safety gear; provided trash bags for roadside clean-up; and, properly disposed of the trash that was collected. The Department also erected a blue-and-white Adopt-A-Highway sign within the adopted highway to acknowledge our efforts.
East St. clean-up Chairperson, Pete Crooker organized a clean-up on Saturday, October 15. Rotarians Pam Wright, Billy Pieper, Grace Soong, Roger Zanglein, Pete Crooker, Pat Mallery, Matt Wahl and Charlie Turner met at 8:00 that morning at the Pittsford Little League Baseball on East Street to pick up the DOT garbage bags, rakes, work gloves and reflectorized jackets. They divided the group into 3 teams working about 2-miles per team (both sides of the road).
Fall, 2016 East St. Clean-Up 2016-10-15 04:00:00Z 0
Rotarians Grace Soong, Pete Crooker and Bob Vukosic volunteered 3 hours of their Saturday morning to move furniture, linens and other donated household items at Saint's Place in Pittsford, St. John of Rochester in Fairport, and their furniture warehouse in Rochester on September 24.  Saint's Place furnishes refugees with all of the necessary items the refugee will need in order to create a home. Sofas, chairs, tables, beds, lamps, all kitchen utensils, bed linens, bathroom accessories, etc. Most of these items are donated by the people of Rochester, NY. Other items like beds, bed frames and pillows are purchased by Saint's Place from funds raised during their super sales and donations. They operate a clothing closet at St. John of Rochester. The Clothing Closet is open four days a week, and provides a vast array of clothing for men, women and children.
Pittsford Rotarians Volunteer at Saint's Place 2016-09-24 04:00:00Z 0
Our twelfth meeting of the Rotary 2016-17 was this Wednesday, September 21, 2016, in the Fisher Room of the Pittsford Community Library. We were joined by Whit Merrill's guest, Chris Edgecomb and Rotary Exchange student from France, Julie Poisson.
Our two Interactors who attended RYLA in June attended and talked about their experience. RYLA organizers asked all attendees to report back to their sponsoring clubs.  Pat Mallery introduced them as we welcomed both Isha Kenkare (Sutherland HS) and Jessi Dirksen (Mendon HS) early in the program.  They both had to get back to school without delay.
Jim Murphy announced that Amica granted a $2200 award to Saints Place.  Isabel Miller, Saint's Place Executive Director, was not able to join us. However, they are also looking for a part-time driver, Monday through Thursday.
Peter Crooker spoke to us about preparations for our 50th Pasta Supper on Election day, Tuesday, November 8.
We need several more volunteers to assist with various tasks during the Teddy Bear Picnic on September 28, our next meeting. The planning is underway and the evening with our sister HF-Mendon Club appears to be shaping up to be another Rotary fellowship and service success. BTW, don’t forget to bring a stuffed animal next week.
Remember to e-mail Pres. Matt directly if you would like to attend the November 9 dinner with Rotary International President John Germ.  WeOur Club paid for one table for our Club at the Convention Center that Wednesday evening right after the Tuesday Pasta Supper.
There was also a sign-up sheet for Saints Place for this coming Saturday, September 24, to help the staff organize the warehouse after their successful “Super Sale.”
Sharon Garofanello introduced our featured guest speaker, Carol DeMoulin, a Rochester Rotarian and the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester NY. Last year, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY, supported more than 1,400 families and children. Families are stronger when they are together, and their presence helps a sick child heal faster and cope better. While Ronald McDonald House Charities cannot make medicine taste better or take away painful treatments, they help lessen the burden and ensure families have the stability and resources to keep their child healthy and happy.
September 21 Meeting Highlights 2016-09-24 04:00:00Z 0
September 14 Meeting Highlights Grace Soong 2016-09-14 04:00:00Z 0
Pres. Matt prepared this program for our September 7, 2016 meeting.  However, the overhead projector's bulb was busted.  So, here it is (edited for visual appeal by Grace Soong):
President Matt's PowerPoint Presentation 2016-09-10 04:00:00Z 0
Our tenth meeting of the Rotary 2016-17 was Wednesday, September 07, 2016, in the Fisher Room of the Pittsford Community Library.  Traditionally, we bring all our eligible “bags and mags” during the first meeting of the month.  Bags are reused at the Pittsford Food Cupboard, and mags are used as reading material at Saint's Place.
Today's guest speaker, Richard Turner, works for Monroe County Planning and Economic Development Department as the Workforce Development Manager. Planning and Development provides and coordinates a broad range of programs focusing on job retention and creation, employment and training services, land use planning and resource conservation as well as housing and neighborhood preservation. The department integrates planning services with economic and community development activities through partnerships with local governments and the private sector. The Planning and Development Department consists of several divisions which include Community Development, Economic Development, Planning Division, and Workforce Development.
Suzie Rose, our Assistant District Governor, joined us as well. Suzie encouraged us to attend the Sept. 17, Sept. 24, or Oct. 1 District Membership Seminars in Bath, Newark or Rush. District Governor Tom Rogers will be attending our meeting next Wednesday, September 14.  This is a meeting that you will not want to miss.
We were also joined by Christina Buckewicz, prospective member, and Town Judge Robert Shaddock. Judge Shaddock is running for re-election.  Remember to vote for him at next week's Independence Party primary, Tuesday, Sept. 13. Polls will be open only from Noon to 9pm.
Luke Stuart was not able to attend our meeting this morning, but passed on the sign-up sheets for the September 28th Teddy Bear Picnic.  He contacted the Sheriff’s office last month.  Pres. Matt reached out to his counterpart at the Honeoye Falls-Mendon Rotary Club who is co-hosting the event with us.
Please e-mail Pres. Matt directly if you would like to attend the November 9 dinner with Rotary International President John Germ.  We are looking to secure at least one table for our Club at the Convention Center that Wednesday evening.
There was also a sign-up sheet for Saints Place for Saturday, September 24, to help the staff organize the warehouse after their successful “Super Sale.”
Sophie McCormick, our outbound student, sent us an e-mail on her experiences in Australia to date.  Sophie will be a regular correspondent. Click here to view the letter.

Harold McAulliffe won the $375 in our fellowship pot last week, so we started all over again this week.
September 7 Meeting Highlights 2016-09-07 04:00:00Z 0
Our seventh meeting of the Rotary 2016-17 year was August 17, 2016, in the Fisher Room of the Pittsford Community Library.  
Dr. Suresh Goel, Pittsford Rotarian Jai Goel's son, was our guest speaker. Rotarian Bob Vukosic and Dr. Goel's patient, introduced him. Dr. Goel talked about causes, prevention and solutions to tooth decay and loss.
Colleen Farley editor of Pittsford Neighbors and Brighton Neighbors, and former Pittsford Rotarian, joined us today. Matt thanked Colleen for featuring Pittsford Rotary Club in her magazines.
We were also joined by Lou Bircher and Colleen Snyder who may be interested in joining our Club. Welcome, ladies!
Rotarian Gretchen DiNardo reported on the welcome home party for District 7120's returning Exchange students.  Rotary Club of Pittsford budgeted $350 for food and beverage. The catered lunch was scheduled at Calkins Road Middle School on Sunday, August 14 at noon. Despite a number of confirmations, nobody from the school district showed up to open the school doors for the guests. At the very last moment, Gretchen switched the venue at her home. Many thanks, Gretchen, for hosting the event and for all the work that you do for District 7120's outgoing (and returning) exchange students.
Camp Haccamo's Carnival Night  on Thursday, August 11, from 6 to 8 PM at Rotary Sunshine Camp was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pittsford.  The Club purchased sponsored $350 worth of concession treats: 125 servings of cotton candy, 125 servings of snow cones, 250 servings of popcorn.  Bruce Spector volunteered to make and serve  cotton candy to the campers.
Gaven left hospital for home on Friday. He reported no more pain in his hip. He refused prescription painkillers and is recovering the old-fashioned way.  Gaven anticipates returning to Club meetings in September.  Our Club sent a get well card thanks to Roger.
Still on winner of the 50/50 raffle.
August 17 Meeting Highlights 2016-08-17 04:00:00Z 0

The annual Rotary Club of Pittsford Golf Scramble was held at Victor Hills Golf Club on August 8, 2016. Proceeds benefited the Pittsford Food Cupboard, Rotary International Foundation and other Pittsford Rotary Club service projects.

We had an absolute perfect day for golf. Over 60 golfers participated in the scramble format. Registration started at 9 am. Continental breakfast was served during registration. The shotgun start was at 10 a.m. The golfers enjoyed blue skies, lunch at the turn, beverages & snacks that were delivered all day long.  At the end of the day, they had a delicious steak and chicken dinner.

Participants joined in the putting contest and the Woodcliff getaway raffle. A million thanks to Rotarian John Bernacki for donating our raffle prize. Over 40 door prizes were awarded, and each golfer took home a bottle of wine. They all had a great time!

Our Winners were:
1st Place: Team McCoy at 9 under
2nd Place: Team Turner at 7 under
1st Place Mixed: Team YMCA at 2 under
Putting Contest: Steve Schmidt
Closest to the rope: Al Shaw
Closest to the pin: Steve Schmidt
Woodcliff Get-A-Way Weekend : James Keogan

Thanks to all Rotarians who assisted with the Tournament:Charlie Turner, Kevin O’Grady, Jim Cameron, Jim Murphy, Margaret McManus, Cart Girls, and registration volunteers. It was a little hectic at first, and golf scramble Chairman Peter Brown and co-Chairman Chris McCoy appreciate all the help that they received.  They would like everyone recognized for their contributions.
Photos provided by Margaret McManus and Taylor Soong (mostly Margaret). Video was created by Grace and Victoria Soong.
Annual Golf Scramble 2016-08-14 04:00:00Z 0
Our fifth meeting of the Rotary 2016-17 year was today, Wednesday, August 3, 2016, in the Fisher Room of the Pittsford Community Library.  
Our usual hot breakfast was served thanks to Lisa at 7:00 AM and our business meeting started around 7:30AM. We finished around 8:30AM. This week, Steve Wilterdink won a free breakfast, but not the 50/50 raffle jackpot!
The tourney is less than a week away -- this coming Monday, August 8, at Victor Hills.  Peter Brown and Chris McCoy have been busy with others preparing for what should be an outstanding day of food, fellowship and golf. They updated us on registration and sponsors: Golfers: 50, Sponsors: 36, Woodcliff Raffle Sales: over $1,000 in sales.
Our scheduled guest speaker, Alvin Herdklotz, Commander of the Pittsford Rayson Miller American Legion Post, called in sick.
If you received an “IMPORTANT DOCS” E-MAIL from Pres. Matt, that is a bogus email. Please delete it immediately!  Pres. Matt will never send you a document that will require you to enter a password.
The Foundation of the Rotary Club of Pittsford donated $3,000 to Habitat for Humanity this year.  Additionally, fellow Rotarians including Lynn Freshman and Bob Vukosic have volunteered a full day of construction work.  Great job, guys (and gals)!
In 2016-17, our Rotary Foundation turns 100. That’s a century of Rotary members changing lives and improving communities all over the world. And that’s definitely something worth celebrating.  Through our Foundation, Rotary members have supported thousands of projects to provide clean water, fight disease, promote peace, provide basic education, and grow local economies. We’ve also been a leader in the fight to eradicate polio worldwide. Please provide checks to Steve Wilterdink payable to The Rotary Foundation through Sept 7! The Club will provide a single surrogate “check” to DG Rogers on Sep 14, then mail the funds collected to date to TRF.  Your donation will be matched 100% by our Club Foundation.
The Foundation of the Rotary Club of Pittsford is a 501c3, i.e. a tax exempt non-profit organization. Tax ID for The Foundation of the Rotary Club of Pittsford, New York Inc. is 16-1601574. Donations to The Foundation of the Rotary Club of Pittsford are tax deductible.
However, The Rotary Club of Pittsford is not a 501c3. Therefore, membership dues, meeting fees, and any out of pocket expenses relating to Club activities are not tax deductible.
Next week's meeting will be a recap of the Golf Tournament.
August 3, Meeting Highlights 2016-08-03 04:00:00Z 0
Our fourth meeting of the new Rotary year was at the Fisher Room of the Pittsford Community Library, on July 27, 2016.   Our usual hot breakfast was served thanks to Lisa at 7:00AM and our business meeting started around 7:40AM, culminating with our guest speaker around 8:00AM. We finished around 8:40AM.
Today's guests were Sophie McCormick (Outbound Exchange Student – Australia Bound), her sister, Maddie McCormick and mom; Lou Bircher, a friend of Jeanne Strazzabosco and prospective member; and guest speaker, Jesse Hollenbeck.
President Matt passed out thank you letters and photos from Diane Dailey and students of Henry Hudson School 28 Fourth Graders regarding their Field Trip to Niagara Falls on June 16 which the Rotary Club of Pittsford sponsored.
The tourney is a week from this coming Monday, August 8.  Peter Brown and Chris McCoy updated us on registration and sponsors.  We currently have 42 golfers, another 30 makes 72 for 18 simultaneous starts; 31 sponsors, but we could always use more; and Woodcliff Raffle Sales at $775 (18 members). Keep ‘em coming!   Woodcliff awaits the winner!
And they’re off… thanks in great part to Past President John Bernacki, who represented our Club at the Pittsford Youth's Duck Drop. Rotary of Pittsford was a “Commander” Level Sponsor of the Duck Drop and PYS.
Last week's Rotary brain teaser that the 22 spokes on the Rotary wheel have the same number of words as the 4-way test is incorrect. Gaven noted that "... p. 59 of the Manual of Procedure... jumps out at the reader. The “we” is a collection of “I”s and really would be better as “I” as "we" does not work for the last two items. It was developed to increase morale in a company and for the use of salesmen with their customers to tell them about the company with which they were dealing.  The “all concerned” were the individual entities of buyer and seller."
Today's Rotary Brain teaser is "What was the first service project of the first Rotary Club of Chicago?"
Answer: installation of public toilets in the City of Chicago.
Last week, our third speaker in the “No Place Like Home” series this month was Susan Hopkins from Bergmann Associates, who spoke about the revision of the Town of Pittsford Comprehensive Plan.
This week, our fourth and final guest speaker in the series was Jesse Hollenbeck, the Director of Recreation for the Town of Pittsford.  A first time guest speaker at Rotary, Jesse briefed us on current plans for the Community Center.
July 27, Meeting Highlights 2016-07-27 04:00:00Z 0
Our second meeting of the “new year” was Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at the Fisher Room of the Pittsford Community Library.
We once again had our usual hot breakfast thanks to Lisa at 7:00AM and started the meeting around 7:30 AM, finishing around 8:30AM.
This week, 2016 Pittsford Mendon graduate Laramie Cole and her father Bradley were our special guests.  We presented Laramie the Pittsford Rotary 2016 Student Service Award and accompanying $1,000 grant.  We were also joined, by prospective member,  Matt Vahve (Whitt Merrill's guest).
Peter Brown updated us on the community golf scramble golf tourney August 8 at Victor Hills.  Remember to please sell your raffle tickets!  Woodcliff awaits the winner!
The Saints Place “Annual Super Sale” opens on Wednesday at 9:00AM.  Isabel Miller and her staff will need assistance from us on Saturday, July 16, from noon onward to staff a bucket brigade for goods not sold.  We circulated a sign-up sheet for volunteers.
Pres. Matt presented the emerging schedule of Rotary events for 2016-17.  
Last week, as our first speaker in the “No Place Like Home” series this month, Town of Pittsford Commissioner of Public Works Paul Schenkel spoke to preliminary Town of Pittsford community garden concepts.
This week, our second guest speaker, Rob Fromberger, PE, the Town Engineer for the Town of Pittsford, presented the East Avenue sidewalks proposal.
Thanks in advance to our Club members on duty in the morning: Charlie Turner, greeter
A stripped-down Brueggers at the Library is open again, but perhaps not for long. 
July 13, Meeting Highlights 2016-07-15 04:00:00Z 0
Pittsford Rotary Golf Tournament Craig Kunkle 2016-07-08 04:00:00Z 0
There is no Pittsford Rotary Club Board of Directors meeting on Thursday morning.  The library staff knows.
We will resume meeting as a Board in September.  And I will announce well in advance.
Announcements and Volunteer Opportunities 2016-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
Election Night Pasta Supper Tickets 2015-11-10 05:00:00Z 0
Save $1 a ticket: Adult $7 or Child $3 2015-11-10 05:00:00Z 0
Alan Wood greeted our guests and fellow Rotarians at the door today.  We welcomed Barbara O'Donnell to her first Rotary meeting.  She is interested in joining a Rotary Club, and was invited by President Grace.  Barb is originally from Anacortes, WA and moved here from Portland Oregon. Welcome Barb!  We look forward to seeing you at our next Club meeting.
Tom Weldgen of the Fairport Rotary Club also joined us today.  Marty Van Dussen was presented his membership packet at today's meeting.  Peter Brown, membership Chair was not available last week to present it to him.
President Grace reminded the old and new officers to attend tomorrow's Board of Director's meeting.  Pete Crooker said that about 18 members and guests attended last week's fellowship at Mario's.  We were located at the bar, and owner, Mario Daniele, stopped by to say hello to the group.  Mario's Italian Restaurant has been a long-time supporter of our Club's fund raising events and activities.
Matt O'Connor introduced today's guest speaker, Curt Smith.  Mr. Smith's speech raised a few eyebrows among our members.  Curt is very outspoken about his political views, about our current and previous Presidents and administration, and about the candidates for next year's big election.  Mr. Smith is a Gate House Media columnist, Upstate New York CBS and Fox TV affiliate political analyst, award-winning National Public Radio affiliate commentator, former Presidential speech writer, having written more addresses than anyone else for President George H. W. Bush, and author, his sixteenth and newest book George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core.  Mr. Smith has been named to the prestigious Judson Welliver Society of former Presidential speech writers.
June 11 Meeting Highlights 2015-06-10 04:00:00Z 0
Today's Club  Assembly included an induction ceremony for Marty Van Dussen. Marty was raised in Fairport, where he lost his dad when he was 14, his mom when he was 30 and his wife when he was 53. These tragedies have taught him to learn to quickly rebound, including embarking on a new career at 56. He opened a Farmers Insurance agency working on both personal and commercial insurance. Marty adopted two children from Korea. His son is currently working for the Air Force in North Dakota. He is engaged to be married on October 11.
The Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation awarded a Paul Harris Fellow to Benjamin Lawrance.  Benjamin applied for a Global Grant to build 7 water wells in Ghana.  He already completed the final reports last month.  Benjamin also visited Ghana a couple of times to oversee some of the wells that were under construction.
Peter Crooker took the podium to remind us of our obligations as members of the Rotary Club.  This will include keeping 50% or more attendance.  He urged everyone to be proud of Rotary and "recruit" new members by inviting friends, neighbors, people we meet and family to attend a meeting or better, to join the Club.  Tomorrow night is our evening fellowship at Mario's and would be a great opportunity to invite prospective members.  Pete also calculated the amount hours we devote to Club Service projects.  Although they may seem overwhelming, in retrospect, it isn't.  For example, the Bike Drop needs 12 volunteers for 2-3 hours once a year.  That's collectively only 24-36 hours a year.
Today was a beautiful day, so we gathered at the garden adjacent to the library (next to the memorial that we built) for a photo opportunity.
(l-r seated) Bob Vukosic, Grace Soong, Lynn Freshmann, Sharon Garofanello, Steve Wilterdink, and Pete Crooker (photographer).
(l-r standing) Jim Cameron, Luke Stewart, Craig Kunkle, Bill Pieper, Bruce Spector, Matt O'Connor, Marty Van Dussen, Bill Taylor, Charlie Turner, Matt Wahl, Harold McAuliffe, Jack Pickering and Jim Murphy.
June 3 Meeting Highlights 2015-06-03 04:00:00Z 0
Look who was featured in the June, 2015 edition of Pittsford Neighbors: Rotary Club of Pittsford and Pittsford Interact Clubs!
Superstars! 2015-06-02 04:00:00Z 0
We were joined today by ADG Susie Rose. This is Susie's 2nd year as Assistant District Governor.  She is assigned to oversee Pittsford, Honeoye Falls-Mendon, Bloomfield, Honeoye, Brighton and Lima Rotary Clubs. Susie announced a joint Club Presidents and President-Elect meeting on June 9 to discuss, mentor and share ideas. We were also joined by Marty Van Duessen.  Hopefully, this will be Marty's last meeting as a guest.  We are looking forward to having him as a member by next Wednesday.
Whit Merrill invited two of his friends to get to know Rotary by inviting them to join us at our next Evening Fellowship.  This June, the social event will be on Thursday, June 4th at Mario's Italian Restaurant from 5:00 to 9:00.  We encourage you to bring a friend or two who may be interested in joining.
Pat Mallery is looking for volunteer chaperones for Sunday's Interact Club activity.  The Interactors are welcoming WWII and Korean War Veterans coming home from a week-long tour of Washington DC.  Honor Flights Rochester honors many selfless “ordinary people who saved the world” by providing them with no-cost, escorted trips to their memorial in Washington, D.C. Rotarian Mike Pero arranged for a school bus leaving Sutherland High School at 10:30 am on Sunday with a bus load of Interact Volunteers.
Today's guest Speaker is Monroe County Crime Laboratory Administrator, John Clark. Formed in 1961, theCrime Lab is a regional forensic laboratory that serves the City of Rochester, Monroe County and seven surrounding counties. The Crime Lab’s mission is to provide scientific analysis of forensic evidence for law enforcement and public safety agencies.
May 27 Meeting Highlights 2015-05-27 04:00:00Z 0
Today is Interact Clubs Appreciation Day.  The invocation, greeter, ticket seller, sergeant-at-arms were all officers of Pittsford Sutherland and Mendon High School. They prepared and adhered to a program.  At exactly 7:15 a.m., Pat Mallery, rang the bell.
Rotary Peace Scholar Bertin Mboko is currently attending the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England to study peace building and conflict resolution. In 1997, he fled the Republic of Congo for the African nation of Gabon with 75,000 other refugees to escape the brutal conditions resulting from Congo's civil war. Throughout his eight years in a camp in Gabon, he taught other refugees to support themselves by selling goods and managing their meager finances, and the United Nations hired him to help distribute small grants to help the refugees become more self-sufficient. He also became president of a refugee group. He will earn a master's-level degree at the end of his 18-month program.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a program that originated with Rotary International to encourage servant leadership in youth by recognizing and rewarding deserving  students who are chosen to attend RYLA as an "award" for their past and present leadership and service activities. They attend an all-expenses-paid camp where they are inspired by a diverse group of exceptional speakers, make life-long friends through fellowship activities, and discuss the ethical and social issues of today. These activities are conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The result is that these students return to their schools and communities motivated to take on additional leadership roles and to find additional ways to serve. Sungum Munsiff (pictured here selling raffle tickets) and Tucker Wehner, next year's Interact Presidents will attend this year's RYLA at RIT from June 28 to July 2.
Each of the Co-Presidents and seniors of the Interact Club had a chance to talk about the experiences and the lessons that they learned as leaders and community service volunteers.
Interact Appreciation Day 2015-05-20 04:00:00Z 0
While Pittsford Rotary President, Grace Soong, and District Treasurer Bruce Spector, represented the Rotary Club of Pittsford at the District 7120 conference in Buffalo, fellow Rotarians set up the stage for the Annual Kid's Trout Fishing Derby at Powder Mills Park this morning.  Rotarian Richard Colby directed traffic while Pete Crooker, Bob Vukosic, Kevin O'Grady and Jim Cameron set up the registration table. Registration started promptly at 8:00 a.m.  Coffee, hot cocoa and donuts were donated by Tim Hortons for the families who participated and registered their young fishermen.  Rotarian Jerry Elman took photos of the event while Rotarians Pat Mallery, Peter Brown, Dylan Brown, Matt Wahl, Craig Kunkle, Lynn Freshman and Hank Ferris volunteered to record the catchings and as judges.
A Beautiful Day to Fish at Powder Mills Park 2015-05-16 04:00:00Z 0
We changed today's format and had our "Happy Dollars" aka "Fellowship Dollars" before our guest speaker, Town Supervisor Bill Smith.  Bob Vukosic took a few minutes to remember, share and reminisce the many happy years he had with Angie.  Angie comes from a large Italian-American family with 6 brothers. He said that we all probably know someone who may be related to the Guinta family and extended families. Bob and his wife Angie lived in Pittsford since 1965, and enjoyed raising their five children from two different marriages: Judeen, Norette, Dan, Steve, and Renee. It was Angie's encouragement that Bob join the Rotary Club when he retired from Kodak.  No words will ease your sorrow, Bob.  Angie will be missed by all who knew her.
Grace reminded the Club that tomorrow is the Director and Board of Director's meeting.  Some items of discussion will include the results of the survey Pat Mallery distributed last month, conclusion and final report of the water wells in Ghana, and finalizing the Club and Operating budgets.
Today's guest speaker needs no introduction. Bill Smith who maintains an open door policy is pleased to have the opportunity to invite residents into his office. He is the administrative head of our town government and presides at the meetings of the Town Board.  Their responsibilities include the power to appoint officers, commissions, boards and other personnel necessary to administer the town's affairs; to adopt ordinances and local laws affecting the public health, safety and welfare and to provide penalties for the enforcement of the town; and to formulate overall policy.  Bill is looking forward to collaborations with our Club to clean, restore and preserve our parks and community facilities.
no words to ease your sorrow.
Angie will be missed by all who knew her. - See more at:
no words to ease your sorrow.
Angie will be missed by all who knew her. - See more at:
May 13 Meeting Highlights 2015-05-13 00:00:00Z 0
Today's invocation was lead by Harold McAuliffe with a special prayer for Angie and Bob Vukosic.  Angie passed away last Sunday, May 3.  Angie's funeral was set that morning.  We were joined by Dave Boyer, the outgoing acting President of Provisional Southeast Rochester Rotary Club, and Dick Wein of the Pittsford Food Cupboard.
Pete Crooker updated the Club on the Fellowship party at Amana Indian Cuisine and the Bike Drop on behalf of Steve Wilterdink.  Our guest speaker Anthony Danielle donated 7 bikes that morning bringing the total to 137.  This is the lowest collection we've had since we started the Bike Drop 6 years ago. However, that brings Pittsford Rotary’s total to 1445 and that our Club also takes pride in the fact that other Rochester Rotary Clubs have started doing bike drops too.
Today's guest speaker is Anthony Daniele who is the Monroe County Legislator representing the 10th Legislative District which includes most of the Town of Pittsford, part of the Village of East Rochester and a small portion of the Town of Brighton.  Anthony was first elected to the Legislature in November 2007 to a four-year term. He recently announced his candidacy for re-election to the 10th District. He has earned the respect of his colleagues who have chosen to elect him as the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee in 2011 and holds a seat on both the Transportation and Human Services Committees.
Matt O'Connor announced that Saint's Place Executive Director, Isabel called him yesterday and said Saints Place really needs us on June 27 for their sale, not this weekend.  Therefore, last Saturday's scheduled community service date was canceled. Please put June 27 on your calendar. Matt's oldest child, Alyssa was a violin student at Sutherland and plays with attorneys in Chicago now where she is a law student.  Matt saluted Harold McAuliffe for his musical leadership in the School District over the decades during the "Happy Dollars."
Whit Merrill also distributed "what type of speakers would you like to have" surveys for members to complete.  As the 2015-16 V.P. and Program Director, Whit could really use your help.  So please complete the survey and email it back to Whit if you missed last Wednesday's meeting.  Click on this link: for the survey.
May 6 Meeting Highlights 2015-05-06 00:00:00Z 0
All the volunteer-powered effort at R Community Bikes in Rochester would go nowhere without donations of bikes and parts. That's why last Saturday, Pittsford Rotarians, Pittsford Interact and R Community Bike volunteers accepted donations of over 130 complete bicycles, frames, wheels, components, accessories, tools, and just about anything bike-related. Donations were dropped off at Mendon High School, thanks to School Superintendent and Rotarian Mike Pero who allowed us to use the school parking lot. R Community Bike is a 501c(3) non-profit, and donors were furnished with a donation receipt for tax purposes.
Total donations this year was almost 100 bikes short compared to last year's Bike Drop. But that's still 130 bike more that volunteer bicycle mechanics can refurbish this summer for recipients who would not otherwise be able to get around.
Thank you note from Steve Wilterdink:
Folks- it looks like Bike Drop will net 130 bikes for R Community Bikes this year. That brings Pittsford Rotary’s total to 1438 since we started. Our Club also takes pride in the fact that other Rochester Rotary Clubs have started doing bike drops too. Greece will do their’s this coming weekend which draws from the west side. Henrietta and Irondequoit will do their’s in the Fall as people are putting the summer stuff away and getting out the snow blowers. Pittsford’s efforts (yours and ours) have begun an effort which provides bikes through out the year and from different parts of Monroe County.  R Community Bikes donates 2000 bikes annually. They also repair 3000 each year. This requires parts which come from donated bikes that are not able to be refurbished. This would not be possible without all of us.
It is amazing to see  the reaction of Pittsford residents. They are so appreciative of the opportunity to “unload” something they don’t use anymore for a good cause. Sometimes the bikes are so old and beat up, they can’t believe we are taking them. Most of the time the bikes are simply no longer wanted. What can be done other than throw them away? Everybody, including Rotary , like the alternative the Bike Drop presents.
We look forward to next year whenever SAT day is. I’ll check with you this Fall to begin planning. Thanks again.
May 2 Bike Drop 2015-05-02 00:00:00Z 0
Peter Brown greeted our guests and lead our invocation at today's meeting.  Jack Pickering and Jim Cameron also did a great job taking attendance and selling raffle tickets. Pete Crooker, Steve Wilterdink and Matt O'Connor reminded us about some upcoming events: May 1 for our First Friday Fellowship at Amana Indian Restaurant, May 2 for our R Community Bike Drop and May 9 at Saint's Place to help haul furniture and household goods.
Bruce Spector was unable to attend today's Rotary meeting but reported the status of of our participation in a Global Grant to purchase hearing aids in Turkey. Through generous checks, cash and commitments from Richard Colby, Jim Murphy, Bob Vukosic, Kevin O'Grady, Bill Taylor and Bruce Spector, and matching from our Club's Foundation, a $500 check to The Rotary Foundation has been sent to PDG Ellen Hughes.
Bob Vukosic is asking us to please keep Angie Vukosic in our prayers that she be peaceful and comfortable during her struggle with her illness. Prayers for a miracle are welcome, too. She is comforted by personal and telephone communications with her family and many friends.
We were also joined by Tom Waldgen from the Fairport Rotary Club and guest speakers Michael Crisona, of American Cancer Society and Anne Tatarsky of Pittsford"s Relay for Life.
American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer. 72% of ACS resources go to cancer research, patient support, prevention information and education, and detection and treatment. The remaining 28% of resources are spent on management compensation and general infrastructure, and fundraising expenses.96% of their donors are from people like us via special events such Relay for Life on July 11, 2015 at Pittsford Sutherland High School Track, personal and corporate contributions and bequests. Many of these donors gave an average gift of just $50 to help those affected by cancer. 3% of their support came from investment income, and 1% came from grants and contracts from government agencies.
April 29 Meeting Highlights 2015-04-29 00:00:00Z 0

Today, April 19 at 12:30 p.m., Pittsford Sutherland High School Interactors began picking up litter on the Canal path starting from the Burgundy Basin Inn.  They worked their way west through Schoen Place ending on the canal path next to the Del Monte Renaissance Lodge. They were supervised by Rotarians Pat Mallery, Grace Soong and Jim Murphy.

Pittsford Mendon High School Interactors started at 12:30 p.m.from the parking lot behind Starbucks on the corner of Clover Street and Monroe Avenue.  This group cleaned-up the Auburn Trail, going east and meeting the Sutherland group at 3 p.m behind the Del Monte Renaissance Lodge.  Rotarians Pete Crooker, Whit Merrill, Steve Wilterdink and Matt O'Connor supervised the Auburn Trail group.

The Rotarians checked both walking paths last week, and the Auburn Trail has a lot more trash on it because of the restaurants that line that trail.  When their trash bins overflow or when the refuse bags are not securely tied, the garbage scatter all over the trail. The Interactors filled over fifteen 96-gallon trash bags.

County code requires volunteers to be at least 18 years old to pick-up litter along our roads.  That's why the Interactors are limited to cleaning the Canal Path and Auburn Trails.  They have cleaned the Canal Path twice a year for the past 8 years. This is the first time that they cleaned the Auburn Trail.  Luckily, today was a beautiful day to pick-up litter. Last fall, it was rainy and cold, but the dedicated volunteers completed their tasks with enthusiasm.
Interact Volunteers Clean Up the Erie Canal Path and Auburn Trail 2015-04-19 00:00:00Z 0
What we call the East Street Clean-up is actually part of Monroe County's Adopt-a-Highway program. The Rotary Club of Pittsford has participated in picking up litter along East Street for the past 13 years. On Saturday, April 18, Rotarian Dylan Brown lead a group of Rotarians including Town Judge Bill Taylor, Kevin O'Grady, Grace Soong, Pete Crooker, Richard Colby, Bill Pieper, Bob Vukosic and Matt Wahl to clean both sides of East Street. They met at the Pittsford Little League's Habecker Field parking lot at 8 AM and proceeded down the three-mile stretch.
It was a beautiful, cool day to pick up litter.  Many commuters would slow down and thank the volunteers for keeping the Town clean. They filled up about six 96-gallon trash bags, securely tied them up and left them along the road side for the Monroe County maintenance crew to pick-up and dispose off on Monday.
East Street Clean-Up 2015-04-18 00:00:00Z 0
Today's guest speaker is Amy Edwards who has been a very active volunteer at Dimitri House for 15 years. Joining the board in 2008 and recognizing the importance of the mission that serves over ten thousand inner city neighbors annually, Amy accepted the board presidency in 2013. Amy is a passionate advocate for inner city families and the homeless in our community. In her spare time Amy is a successful Senior Account Manager at Cisco Systems with a special place in her heart for diversity in engineering and women in technology programs. As a marathon runner and triathlete, Amy knows the meaning of being in it for the long haul.
Pat Mallery distributed a survey sheet that asks for your feedback about meeting time, date, program content, speakers, fellowship, service, and more.  If you missed this week's meeting, Pat will mail the survey form to you.  It will include a self addressed and stamped envelope and only takes less than 5 minutes of your time to complete.  We want you to attend Rotary weekly meetings, and we need to know what we can do to make that happen!
Whit Merrill attended his first District Assembly.  He was most excited about the Creative Programs session where the he learned of ways to make meeting programs exciting.  The success of a Rotary Club is largely dependent upon the quality of its weekly meeting programs. As VP for 2015-16, Whit will also be Program Chair of our Club. President Grace attended the Club President's session, whereas Bruce Spector and Gaven Hurley were both session trainees.
April 15 Meeting Highlights 2015-04-15 00:00:00Z 0
Today, we sang Happy Birthday to our April celebrants: Jerry Gambino April 2, Michael Carbone April 28, Richard Colby April 5, Kevin O'Grady April 21, and Charlie Turner April 9.  Charlie was the only April celebrant who attended today's meeting. We were joined by Interact Emily Rudmann and American Cancer Society's Anne Tatarsky to promote Relay For Life of Pittsford, on Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 5pm-7am at Pittsford Sutherland High School Track. Relay for Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk with teams of people camping out around a track. Members of each team take turns walking around the track while food, games and activities provide entertainment and build camaraderie.  It is a family-friendly environment for the entire community raising awareness and funds for cancer research.
Marty Van Dussen joined us once more, expressing interest in joining our Club. 
Wanda Johnson, director of Nielsen House was joined by Jason, Peter and Joe of Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach, Inc. Nielsen House serves homeless men with a criminal history who are entering the community from jail, in-patient facilities, the streets and other homeless situations. This program provides a safe and structured home environment for homeless men within Monroe County who are age 18 or older. Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach, Inc. is a ministry of Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester. They have a strong base of volunteers who are committed to offering resources to incarcerated individuals and ex-offenders. Members of their community have been visiting local jails and prisons for over 30 years.
April 1 Meeting Highlights 2015-04-01 00:00:00Z 0
Today's greeter and invocation was led by Pete Crooker.  We also got to know more about Steve Wilterdink who graduated from Hobart College in 1971. He has always lived in Upstate NY except during a brief stint at the Marine Corps Reserve. He likes going to warmer climate during the winter. Steve just celebrated his 10-year anniversary in Florida with his 2nd wife, Pam. When his first wife passed away, Steve swore never to get married again, but he took the risk and his second marriage paid off. Steve has 2 brothers and a daughter who graduated in 2009 and now works at a software comapny in NYC. Steve is a financial adviser with Northwestern Mutual.  His market niche is increasing financial security during retirement and long-term care coverage. His primary hobby is history.  He likes to learn and read about famous characters in history such as "Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson." In addition to Rotary, Steve is involved with the Red Cross, United Way, American Legion and R Community Bike.
Gaven Hurley announced the submission of a District Simplified Grant to purchase water taps for residents of Cape Town, South Africa.  The project was spearheaded by former Interact President Katherine Wegma.  She will also look into partnering with other clubs for a possible RI Global Grant to provide solar powered electricity to the residents.
We also welcomed Martin Van Dussen who is an independent business owner of Farmers Insurance. Marty is looking to see if the Rotary Club of Pittsford is a fit for his career and interests.
Today's speaker is Tricia Cruz from Ibero American Action League.  Ibero is a dual-language human services agency that teaches individuals of all backgrounds how to become self-sufficient. Through hands-on learning, we help children, youth, families and individuals with special needs transition into the classroom, the workforce and the community.
March 25 Meeting Highlights 2015-03-25 00:00:00Z 0
Today's get to know your fellow Rotarian is Matt Wahl. Matt was a civil engineer who was working for his family’s business but also “loved fine jewelry”. His wife, Susan and Matt began running the local Forsythe Jewelers in 1987, when Susan’s parents retired. They bought the business from her parents in 1999.  They have a son, Anders, who is working on a production crew for Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas and has expressed interest in the family business.
Peter Brown shared some of the ideas from the multi-district President-Elect Training Seminar which he can't wait to implement.  Matt O'Connor shared a letter of appreciation from Saint's Place for the Saturday morning volunteer work our members have provided.
Today's guest speaker is Colonel (Ret) John Perrone, who currently serves as the Director of the Homeland Security Management Institute. He was selected to be the Commander of the Joint Detainee operations Group at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. As the Commander of the al Qaeda Terrorist Detention Facility, COL Perrone commanded 1200 soldiers conducting long term detention operations that included receiving, securing and caring for over 600 suspected terrorist in support of the Global War on Terrorism. His duties also included escort operations in and out of Afghanistan, linguist and intelligence support and coordination with numerous Federal and State law enforcement agencies.
March 18 Meeting Highlights 2015-03-18 00:00:00Z 0
Over 400 people attended the 12th Annual "A Taste of Pittsford" wine, food tastings and silent auction last Monday, March 9 from 6-8:30 p.m in support of the Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation's community service projects at the Otto Shults Center at Nazareth College. The evening showcased the special tastes of 15 area restaurants, six Finger Lakes wineries, a distillery and craft beer from Lock 32, Pittsford's new brewery.
Fine samplings were provided by local restaurants including, Mario’s, Label 7, Good Smoke, Lisa’s Catering, The Highlands, Lemoncello, Original Crab Shack, Grey Ghost Catering, Village Coal Tower, Erie Grill, Amaya, Grand Cru Chocolates and Nuts, Tavern at Clover, Beans and Machines, Horizons at Woodcliff, and Dolce Cupcakery.
Finger Lakes wines were offered by Anthony Road Winery, Arbor Hill Winery, Casa Larga Vineyards & Winery, Red Tail Ridge Winery, Swedish Hill Winery and White Springs Winery as well as Apple Country Spirits and Lock 32 Brewery.
Special guests included Pittsford “Volunteer of the Year” Gil Landry, Channel 10’s Rebecca LeClair, Pam Sherman, author of the D&C’s “Suburban Outlaw” column, Adam Chodak of 13WHAM, and Town Supervisor Bill Smith. This was the third year that Taste added a silent auction that incorporated a massage package, dinner with local celebrities, food and jewelry gift baskets, tickets to local theater shows and golf packages.
Another Successful Taste of Pittsford 2015-03-09 00:00:00Z 0
Thanks to Jerry Elman, who was able to schedule our guest speaker, Allison (Alli) O'Malley, Executive Director Resolve of Greater Rochester at the last moment.  Resolve is dedicated to intervening and preventing domestic and sexual violence against women. They believe that by engaging women and men, they can develop and deliver innovative, community-centered solutions that promote safety and equality so that women and girls are free to realize their full potential.
Today's "Get to Know your Fellow Rotarian is" Luke Stewart, who grew up in Maine, though, his family is of Scottish origin. He graduated with a degree in finance at Boston College. Luke has been a Pittsford Rotarian for five years, although he has also been involved with other organizations such as Junior Achievement and Big Brother/Big Sister. Luke has two little girls with wife of ten years, Erica.  He met Erica at a "Taste of New York" in NY City. Erica runs a day-care business in Fairport. Luke first worked at State Street Bank as a numbers cruncher, but moved into financial planning later on.  Erica and Luke moved to Rochester about 8 years ago.  He now works for Centra Financial Group as a financial planner. Luke wishes to continue serving the community through the Rotary Club.
With the "Taste of Pittsford" coming up in less than a three weeks, Jerry Elman, Jim Murphy and Pam Wright updated us with the "behind the scenes" prep-work.  Jim is asking everyone to email friends, family and acquaintances who may purchase tickets online.  Simply Crepes, a regular participant of "Taste" will not be able to join us this year. Fortunately, we have some new participants.  Jim and Jerry are predicting over two dozen restaurants and wineries this year. Jerry Gambino was not able to join us today, but Bruce collected wine bottles which will be auctioned off at the event.
February 18 Meeting Highlights 2015-02-18 00:00:00Z 0
In a matter of minutes, more than 2,400 people ran screaming in and out of Lake Ontario. Pittsford's Interact Club volunteers were among those who splashed down, dunked their bodies and heads before running back to shore.
They all braved the elements for Rochester's 15th annual Polar Plunge, held Sunday at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte.  The event raised funds and awareness for Special Olympics New York. Mike Crisona, development director for the Special Olympics New York, said plungers this year set a new fundraising record, surpassing the agency's $300,000 goal. Pittsford's Interact Club led by Rotarian Pat Mallery raised over $5000.
Pittsford Interact Plunge for Special Olympics 2015-02-08 00:00:00Z 0
Saints Place provides household goods, clothing, and education to legal refugees of all races and creeds who settle in the Rochester, NY area to escape violence, discrimination and poverty.
The Rotary Club of Pittsford has done great work for Saints Place on the first Saturday of each month since October, with a recess in January.  Additionally, these generous Rotarians donated 15+ winter weather outer garments to clothe the refugees.  The Saints Place Board of Directors saluted the Club at their last meeting of 2014 for the impact the Rotarians have made in so short a time.
Last Saturday, February 7, Rotarians Dylan Brown, Taylor Soong, Matt O'Connor, Nat Garfield and Pete Crooker loaded linens into a van and furniture into a truck from a warehouse across the river from the U-of-R.   Then, they emptied both the van and truck at a two-bedroom apartment near Highland Hospital.  They finished around noontime making the beds and setting up the apartment.
The family of five (mother, father, grandmother, two children) moves into an apartment ready for  their use.
Rotarians Deliver Furniture to Refugees 2015-02-07 00:00:00Z 0
Thank you to everyone who brought shopping bags and magazines at our meeting last Wednesday. Thanks also to our volunteers, Jerry Gambino for selling 50/50 raffle tickets and taking attendance, Chuck Turner for collecting fees, Pete Crooker and Jim Cameron for setting up, and Nat Garfield for greeting and invocation.
Today's guest speaker, Bill Nojay is a member of the New York State Assembly. He represents the 133rd Assembly District which includes parts of Steuben and Monroe counties and all of Livingston County. He is the host of "Bill Nojay Show, Upstate's Radio Revolution" - Weekdays at 1pm.  He was joined by his Chief of Staff, Barb Colins.
Don Henderson awarded another Golden Meatball award, this time to a non-Rotarian, Lou Betstadt.  The Golden Meatball award is given to one Rotarian and one non-Rotarian who exemplified service above self in their service work at our Annual Election Night Pasta Supper.
Gaven Hurley is matching any Polio Plus Fund Contribution during the month of February.  Additionally, the Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation will .match total contributions dollar for dollar.  That's how your $50 contribution to eradicate polio for good can "grow" to $200 (50+50=100+100=200).  Donate now by contacting Steve Wilterdink or donate online by clicking on this link. Indicate that your contribution is for the Polio Plus Fund.
February 4 Meeting Highlights 2015-02-07 00:00:00Z 0
Today's meeting started with our guest speakers, former Interact President, Katherine Wegman and her fellow classmate, John Dawson. Katherine is a senior undergraduate at the University of Rochester with a double major in anthropology and biology. A 2011 graduate of Pittsford Mendon High School, Katherine is a Rochester Early Medical Scholar. She will begin medical school at the University of Rochester in the fall of 2015. Katherine's international studies in South Africa, England, and Jamaica in 2012 sparked her current medical interests in global health, medical anthropology, and pediatrics. This past summer, as Davis Projects for Peace Fellows, Katherine and fellow Rochester student John Dawson returned to a squatter community in Cape Town to implement a community-based solar lighting system. While there, Katherine conducted her anthropology senior honors thesis.
We were also joined by a polar bear and Presidents of the two Interact Clubs of Pittsford-Sutherland and Mendon High Schools.  They came to promote their fund raising efforts and participation in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge on February 8th at Ontario Beach Park.  The first Plunge in Rochester was held in 2001 and had 75 plungers with $15,000 being raised. The Rochester Polar Plunge is the largest Polar Plunge in New York and one of the largest Polar Plunges to benefit Special Olympics in the entire U.S. Since its inception the Rochester Polar Plunge has raised millions of dollars for local Special Olympics Programs.  Bravo to our brave and dedicated Interact members for all the work that they do to help those in need and to improve our community.
Next on the agenda was Matt O'connor who was born in Flushing, NY and grew up in Queens and Long Island, NY. He graduated from Cornell with a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering.  He worked at Kodak for three summers while in college and on his 4th summer interned at Kodak's Lincoln Plant.  He was fascinated by the work conducted by Kodak in aerospace engineering that he joined the company in 1982 in the research and engineering division.  They manufactured spy satellites for the US government for about 20 years. Matt joined JML Opticals for 5 years in  the 90's, and worked for small organizations thereafter.  In 2003, he returned to Kodak to work on a government funded research program which was canceled in 2005.  He then became Director for ITT Space Systems when ITT purchased that division from Kodak. Matt retired at 55 to teach at MCC in their Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services Department. His wife, Pat, and he have 2 daughters. Pat teaches at W. Irondequoit. Matt has been a Pittsford Rotarian since 2007 and will be our President in 2016-17.  He is also our Town Councilman.
Former Pittsford Rotarian, Ken Hann, attended the meeting to thank our Club for our participating in the Annual Mendon Ponds Winterfest last January 18.
January 21 Meeting Highlights 2015-01-21 00:00:00Z 0
Winter is just an excuse to have fun at Mendon Ponds Park during the annual Winterfest. Organizer Ken Hann, helped established the event fifteen years ago. The idea is to get people excited about winter activities that are educational and fun. About 5,000 people attended the free event while learning about and trying out winter activities such as ice fishing, snowshoeing and ice boating. While Winterfest is geared towards families with young children, it is fair to say, however, that there is something for everyone.

Last January 18, organizers put together an enjoyable day for everyone with the help of volunteers such as
Pete Crooker, Grace Soong, Dylan Brown and Ashok Gupta from the Pittsford Rotary Club.  They sponsored, directed traffic and supervised two horse-drawn wagon rides. Pittsford-Sutherland and Mendon High School Interact Club volunteers with the assistance of Rotarian Pat Mallery also set-up several tables with crafts, games and activities for children.
Fun-filled Day at Mendon Ponds Winterfest 2015-01-18 00:00:00Z 0
For the past 45 years Brighton Rotary Club and District 7120 have home hosted over 469 Governors Elect and their spouses from 43 countries worldwide.The idea for the program was conceived in 1969 by PDG Milt Matthews, and has been copied by many other Districts throughout the United States.
Each Governor Elect guest is assigned two Rotary hosts so they get to visit different areas of the district. The guests live with the hosts, see the local sites, join in on local activities and where possible attend club meetings.The guests will leave for the International Assembly with a bevy of new friends that will last a lifetime.
This year's guests were hosted by Rotarians Ashok Gupta, Grace and Taylor Soong.  These photos were taken at the Belhurst Castle Friendship Lunch last Sunday, Jan. 11.
Milt Matthews Governor Elect Program 2015-01-11 00:00:00Z 0
Today, we bade farewell to Emma Gardner, our exchange student from Australia. We will miss you, Emma. We hope that you enjoyed your stay with us and bring back to Australia tons of stories and wonderful memories.
Today's "Get to know your Fellow Rotarian" is, Harold McAuliffe, who was born and raised in Hallstead, PA. Harold graduated from Mansfield University in PA, before heading off to the Eastman School of Music for his graduate degree. He had a 39-year career teaching music in Pittsford public schools and 22 of that as the head of the music program for all Pittsford 9 schools. Harold's mother was also a musician. His father sold insurance thru Prudential for many years. Harold married Juanita 47 years ago and has 6 grandchildren from 3 children. Harold still enjoys singing and is Pittsford Musical's musical director for many of their productions.
Brian Pitre, our guest speaker, prefers to call his topic "Drones" as unmanned aerial vehicles. Brian is one of the two principals of SkyOp LLC, a Canandaigua startup. The potential uses for drones could range from easier bridge inspections, no setting up and breaking down of scaffolding and ladders, to eye-catching promotions for expensive real estate for sale. Precision agriculture and ranching could also be anothr potentially lucrative commercial market, for instance, in Japan, where they use similar technology for precise pesticide application.
Thus far in the United States the use of drones has revolved around military and public safety uses. Just as the Internet was once for military use only and later commercialized and applied for public benefit, so will these highly versatile flight systems be similarly commercialized. Drones rapidly are becoming part of the American landscape.
January 7 Meeting Highlights 2015-01-07 00:00:00Z 0
For 33 years, Operation Food Basket operates as a sub-committee of the House of Mercy in Rochester, NY, and has been providing holiday food and cheer to families in the Rochester area.  The goal is to help those families who fall through the cracks in our social system. These families would not be able to have food during the holidays without the help of Operation Food Basket. Those who receive the food are selected by two agencies, The House of Mercy Mission and The Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Service. By the end of the annual Operation Food Basket campaign, an estimated 73,000 pounds of food will have been shared with the community.

Last December 22, 2014 Pittsford Rotarians led by Roger Zangelein gathered at the Xerox warehouse on Phillips Rd. in Webster to pack, then deliver a week's worth of food to families in Rochester.
L-R: Shows where each car goes inside to the loading area; Jack looks on while two Xerox volunteers load our delivery vehicle; delivery van loaded and ready to go; Pat Mallery with Interactors getting their boxes to deliver; Jack Pickering carrying in a carton of food into a house on First Street, Rochester; Pittsford Rotarians caught up with Alan Wood (facing back) when they came back for another load with the staging area where cartons are stacked prior to loading vehicles. (Photos and caption by Pete Crooker).
Operation Food Basket 2014-12-22 00:00:00Z 0
Pittsford Rotary's Annual Holiday Party was booked at the Hanneman Room at the Highlands during a winter storm that caused a 5-hour power outage, and a traffic nightmare with many vehicles in ditches, highway medians,  and smashed against guard rails from slick snow-covered highways. For those of us who braved the storm, we were impressed with the Highland's management. They quickly moved the venue to the main dining area, which had power, a piano and PA system. After a few announcements, almost everyone took home a raffle prize. Sharon Garofanello, won the 50-50 raffle but donated her share to the Pittsford Food Cupboard.
We were joined by Bertin Mboko's spouse, Marie Mboko, Pam's son, Dustin Wright, Grace's daughter, Victoria Soong, and Ed Francis' widow and honorary member, Linda Francis. Lynn Freshman sang a couple of traditional Christmas songs before engaging everyone in the traditional Rotary's version of "A Partridge on a Pear Tree." It goes like this: On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, an Aussie exchange student... You get the gist.
Pittsford Rotary's Annual Holiday Party 2014-12-10 00:00:00Z 0
A note from Barb Wale, President & CEO of The Arc of Monroe County thanking the Rotary Club of Pittsford for hosting the Holiday Party dedicated to its residents in Pittsford.
Thank you from ARC of Monroe 2014-12-06 00:00:00Z 0
Arc of Monroe County offers community residential facilities that meet the needs of individuals with a range of abilities. These supervised apartments and homes accommodate from two to 11 individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.  Individuals learn important skills to remain as independent as possible, such as preparing food, managing money and using resources in the community.
Three of these residences are located in Pittsford. Last Saturday, the Rotary Club of Pittsford, invited the residents to a Christmas party.  It was held at Calkins Road Middle School, thanks to School Superintendent and Rotarian, Mike Piro.  With the assistance of ARC staff, the individuals arrived at noon and were treated to Christmas carols courtesy of Lynn and Manny Freshman and Interact volunteers.  The Interactors also set-up some games and decorated the room with holiday cheer.  Wegmans donated the deli sandwiches, potato salad, pasta salad and cole slaw. Santa Clause stopped by to greet the residents and hand out Christmas gifts.  Many residents got scratch-off lottery tickets and were thrilled when they won.  One lucky individual won $10.  He is a train enthusiast and he said that he will use his winning ticket to purchase a model train.
Traditionally held on a weekday for the 19 Church St. residents, this is the first time that the Club held the Christmas party on a Saturday and invited all three Arc residences in Pittsford.
Special Friends Holiday Party 2014-12-06 00:00:00Z 0
Today's guest speaker was Karen Parkhurst who recently completed her fourth journey to El Sauce, León, Nicaragua. She made this trip primarily to see the results of her Rotary Club’s (Victor-Farmington, NY) most recent project that supplied solar panels to some homes in the mountain community of Ocotal, in the municipality El Sauce. She stayed with Alita, who is part of the tourist cooperative of Sauce Aventuras.  Alita speaks no English and Karen speaks very little Spanish, but somehow they managed to communicate.  During her stay, she visited several homes including the home of Freddie, Christina and their two boys, Nelvin and Miguel, and their baby daughter. They proudly showed her the solar panels that now provide them with 5 hours of electricity a day for 2 outlets.
Karen is currently working on a RI Global Grant to provide water to residents of Sauce, Nicaragua.  The Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation has agreed to participate in this project with a $1000 donation.
Craig Kunkle graduate with an Associated degree with emphasis on graphic design.  He was planning to be an architect at Broome Community College. Instead, he went to Niagara College with a Major in Psychology and minor in religious studies. After a 6-month stay in Hungary, he went on to complete his Masters degree in Divinity in Louisville, KY. In addition to English and Hungarian, Craig can understand ancient Greek and Hebrew. He met his wife in Graduate school and they lived in Pennsylvania where she was a minister in two small churches.  Craig has two daughters, 15 and 12. He is currently the director of Christian education at First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford.  Although a little rusty, Craig was a master magician, and he entertained the Club with one of his magic tricks.
Bob Vukosic saw Marie Mboko working at the Perinton Wegman's Store and spoke with her briefly. Their church is not providing any significant support. The family is getting some food support from social services. Marie is still seeking other employment opportunities that offer more hours and benefits.  Last August, the CClub Board agreed to assist Marie during the time that her spouse, Bertin Mboko is in England on a RI Peace Scholarship.  The funds are to come from the "Fellowship Dollars" aka "Happy Dollars." The contribution was $30 a month, and this week, Bob gave Marie a $120 gift card from Wegmans from those funds.
December 3 Meeting Guests and Highlights 2014-12-03 00:00:00Z 0
On Tuesday, December 2, Pittsford's Village streets were filled with holiday cheer and the sounds of live music, carolers and sleigh bells. Holiday lights twinkled in the night as hundreds of luminaries lined the sidewalks and streets. It was the (almost) perfect night for shopping, dining, and enjoying holiday treats.

The weather forecast called for wet snow with temperatures in the low to mid 30's. Yes, it was cold and miserable, but the Interact students of Pittsford, lead by Rotarians Harold McAuliffe and Pat Mallery braved the cold to make the "hundreds of luminaires" and sing Christmas carols in front of Town Hall. They proceeded to 19 Church Street, to sing more carols for the disabled residents of ARC of Monroe. Fellow Rotarians Richard Colby, Jim Murphy, Jim Cameron, Dylan Brown, Craig Kunkle also rang the bells for the Salvation Army kettles. Salvation Army and Executive Director Major Doug Hart stopped by to thank the Rotary Club of their annual support.
Interact and Rotary at the Candlelight Night of Pittsford 2014-12-02 00:00:00Z 0
Today, we got to know Gaven a little more. Gaven Hurley took ROTC when he was young and went into the army as a 2nd Lieutenant.  He was stationed in Thailand where he worked as a general's aide. Thereafter, he went to business graduate school at Columbia University even though he had a science undergraduate degree.  Gaven worked for 12 years in the clinical laboratory field, selling and marketing equipment.  After that, for about 10 years, he worked for a company in mergers and acquisitions.  By this time, wife, Kathy had been commuting to Rochester to teach at the U of R as a professor of harp. They decided to move to Rochester and settle in Pittsford. He knew that the best way to get to know people in the community (and be known) is to join the Rotary Club.  Gaven has been a Rotary President and District 7120 Governor, but he admits that the best thing he did in Rotary is the group study exchange. 
Sad news, on Monday 24th November, Malcolm Bugler accepted a new employment opportunity at Surna, Inc. developing cutting edge technology for an extremely fast growing company which supplies equipment to a unique agricultural market. It is very much his “dream position”.  The down side is that it is located in Boulder Colorado, so this means that Liz and Malcolm will be relocating there during the first 3 months of 2015.  He will I will be going out to Boulder for the first two weeks of January and will attended 2 meetings a month when he is in town through March, but will live in Boulder to help Surna manufacture equipment for the legal cannabis industry, with a focus on disruptive technology.
Peter Brown shared some of the discussions at the Board of Director's meeting.  The Nominating Committee is looking to add a 4th member to assist with proposing candidates for next year's officers. Peter will form a committee to contact members who have not attended a meeting for 3-4 consecutive weeks to call them and say that “they were missed.” He will also form a committee to review the Club Service budget and make recommendations to the Board.  Malcolm is currently working on setting a date for the 5k race in June, making sure there are no other events going on the same date and organize a 5-6 member event committee to plan the race route. Jerry Elman will asemble and document the steps to get the knowledge of running the Taste of Pittsford preserved.
Rotarian Ray Robbins died December 4, 2013 at age 85 after a lengthy infirmity.  Born January 21, 1928, raised in West Tremont, Maine, honorable service U.S. Army 1946-1949, he was a 1953 Graduate of University of Maine in Electrical Engineering Employed at Stromberg Carlson 1953-1977, Acme Electric 1977-1980, and Xerox Corporation 1980-1994. Ray enjoyed eating, hiking, canoeing, genealogy, and lupines. He was an active member of Christ Clarion Church and served as Treasurer for 30 years; and an active member of Pittsford Rotary including past president and Paul Harris Fellow. Last Saturday, Nov. 21, Christ Clarion hosted a memorial for Ray.  Half of the attendees were Rotarians including Gaven Hurley, Pete Crooker, Bob Vukosic, Jim Murphy and more.
This week's guest speaker was Todd Baxter, Executive Director of programs and services, Veterans Outreach. An independent community-centered non-profit providing premier one-stop supportive services to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. They serve by helping veterans achieve their goals and realize their full potential and aim to be the best provider of community-centered supportive services for veteran families
November 26 Meeting Highlights 2014-11-26 00:00:00Z 0
Every year, after the Election Night Pasta Supper, co-chairs Don Henderson and Pete Crooker select an individual who has demonstrated exemplary service at the event.  This year's recipient is Bob Vukosic.  Additionally, Bob volunteered to decorate the display cabinet in the library in February with Rotary paraphenalia.  He has already sent out emails asking for ideas and materials to put in the display cabinet.  Well done and thank you, Bob.
Dylan Brown shared his experience at his first District Foundation Brunch at Belhurst Castle. Key-note speaker was Melissa Pritchard.  Melissa studied abroad in England and Spain in her junior year. After graduation, she received an ambassadorial Scholarship and Barcelona Spain became her home for 10 years. In August 2013, Melissa decided to return home via bike as a solo cyclist. She pedaled 14 months, through 26 countries, in 4 continents, and has shared her experiences with school children along the way.  At the event, President Grace Soong accepted an award on behalf of Pittsford Rotary.
Today's guest speaker was Alice Swett, who spent this past July in the Democratic Republic of the Congo supporting a theater project with teenagers who were former soldiers, survivors of sexual abuse or street children.  She then spent a few days in Rwanda visiting the family of one of the former soldiers. Alice is a proud 1984 graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High School.  She has spent her career as an educator focused primarily on civic engagement for positive social change, most recently with high school students through a program she managed for 16 years for the city of Boulder, Colorado. Alice is also a member of the Boulder Rotary Club.
Today's guests were Pete Crooker's better half, Jill Crooker, and Don Henderson's guest, Ron Fither.

Alice Swett spent this past July in the Democratic Republic of the Congo supporting a theatre project with teenagers who were former soldiers, or survivors of sexual abuse or street children.  She then spent a few days in Rwanda visiting the family of one of the former soldiers.  She will share some of her experiences and show pictures.

Alice is a proud 1984 graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High School.  She has spent her career as an educator focused primarily on civic engagement for positive social change, most recently with high school students through a program she managed for 16 years for the city of Boulder, Colorado. 

- See more at:

Alice Swett spent this past July in the Democratic Republic of the Congo supporting a theatre project with teenagers who were former soldiers, or survivors of sexual abuse or street children.  She then spent a few days in Rwanda visiting the family of one of the former soldiers.  She will share some of her experiences and show pictures.

Alice is a proud 1984 graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High School.  She has spent her career as an educator focused primarily on civic engagement for positive social change, most recently with high school students through a program she managed for 16 years for the city of Boulder, Colorado. 

- See more at:

Alice Swett spent this past July in the Democratic Republic of the Congo supporting a theatre project with teenagers who were former soldiers, or survivors of sexual abuse or street children.  She then spent a few days in Rwanda visiting the family of one of the former soldiers.  She will share some of her experiences and show pictures.

Alice is a proud 1984 graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High School.  She has spent her career as an educator focused primarily on civic engagement for positive social change, most recently with high school students through a program she managed for 16 years for the city of Boulder, Colorado.

November 19 Meeting Highlights 2014-11-19 00:00:00Z 0
This month's "First Friday Fellowship" gathering was held at Label 7.  A restaurant participant of our Annual Taste of Pittsford, Label 7 is located at 50 State St in the Village.  The atmosphere, drinks and food are inspired by the cuisine and ambiance of California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys and their annual Mustard Festival.
November 14 Friday Fellowship at Label 7 2014-11-14 00:00:00Z 0
Our annual Election Night Pasta supper makes for a great teambuilding exercise. Pete Crooker and Don Henderson, co-chairs of the Pasta Super have done it again! They broke-up the volunteers into several groups: cooks, servers, delivery, clean-up, set-up, take-out, wait staff and ticket sellers.
Serving started at 4:30 (to serve the volunteers). But the guests did not start streaming in until 5:15 pm.  By 7 pm the serving line started to trickle down. The take-out
boxes were prepared by another team in a separate room. Some of the interact students delivered the take out boxes to the drive-thru while the others assisted guests to their table, waited on customers, set-up the tables and cleaned-up afterward.
Many thanks to our volunteer photographer, Dave Boyer, who recorded the event; to Pittsford Interact members, fellow Rotarians and volunteers who helped us make this another successful fund-raising endeavor for our service projects.
Election Night Pasta Supper 2014-11-04 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 28, 2014
Jerry Gambino, the oldest of 3 siblings, grew up in Irondequoit.  He enjoyed a lengthy career as a Customhouse Broker and freight forwarder.  He sold the business 15 years ago. In 2011, Jerry  decided to add an exciting new skill, not connected to international logistics. He graduated this month from Genesee Community College with an Associate of Applied Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program.. This new profession fits in with his prior experience with a common denominator: He enjoys assisting customers and patients in bettering their financial lives and physical health. Before that, He got his Bachelor's in Business Administration degree from University of Notre Dame, and lived a year in Rome, Italy while at Saint Mary's College.
Jerry enjoys golf, downhill sking, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, camping, playing piano, attending concerts--classical, pop and rock, traveling, exercise, and participating in the Rotary Club where he as been a member for 9 years.  He has been on the Board of both the Rotary Club of Pittsford and Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation.  He has 2 adult children.  Jerry and his girlfriend, Lynn Carlton are celebrating their 3rd year anniversary this year.
As one of the country’s leading not-for-profit, professional theaters, Geva Theatre Center is Rochester’s flagship theatre company and the most attended regional theatre in New York State. Founded in 1972, Geva serves up to 160,000 patrons annually, including more than 16,000 students.  Geva’s productions are created and rehearsed in and for Rochester.  It draws upon the talents of the country’s top actors, directors, designers and writers who are shaping the American theater landscape. Geva Theater is one of the top 25 regional theaters for ticket sales and one of the largest subscriber bases in the country with about 10,000. The challenge for Geva has always been on the fundraising side. Unfortunately, they cannot survive on ticket sales alone. Even if they sold every ticket of inventory that they have, they would have to raise prices 25 percent in order to cover their operating expenses alone.
Mr. Parrish joined Geva in 2011. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation and is a member of Rochester Rotary.
October 29 Meeting Guests and Speaker 2014-10-29 00:00:00Z 0
Fellow Rotarians distributed dictionaries to all 3rd graders in the Pittsford Central School District and St. Louis School. This project has created a lot of goodwill in the community and is often the most memorable contact of community families with the Pittsford Club. The key is a letter from Club President Grace Soong, that is sent home with each student receiving a dictionary. Teachers also encourage the students to write a thank you note to the Rotarians. Typically, 600 dictionaries are purchased for this project; 60 dictionaries are distributed at St. Louis, 50 are sent to Haiti, and the balance is distributed among the five Pittsford Elementary schools.
These photos of Harold McAuliff talking to students while Steve Wilterdink and Pete Crooker distribute dictionaries were taken at Thornell Elementary School on October 28.
Grade 3 Dictionaries Distribution 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 27, 2014
The Eastern Cities Fellowship Dinner at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, Clubs were given the opportunity to highlight what they have done for the RI Foundation. This year's keynote speaker was RI Foundation Chair John Kenny.

The Eastern Cities Fellowship Dinner is a Rotary tradition, annually attracting Rotarians from across the Northeastern United States and Canada. Proudly hosted each year by the Rochester Rotary Club, hundreds of Rotarians gather in Rochester, New York to share in what is a cornerstone of the Rotary tradition…fellowship.  In addition to the many clubs represented, current and past district governors and Rotary International officers attend the dinner each year to welcome the sitting RI President. The Rochester Rotary Club started the Eastern Cities Fellowship Dinner in 1921, and over the years it has evolved from a local event in the Greater Rochester Community to an international fellowship event.

Attendees from our Club were Rotarians Grace Soong, Taylor Soong, Kathleen and Gaven Hurley, Pete Crooker, former Pittsford Rotarian Raymond E. Cornelius, Kevin O'Grady, Sharon Garofanello and Pat Mallery.  Interact students were Katie Gold, Emilie Uffman, Erika DeAngelis, Kristi Lin and exchange student Emma Gardner.
Eastern Cities Dinner 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 25, 2014
The Pittsford Halloween Festival is a good example of how the town and Rotary Club can work together to  benefit the entire community.
The fest is a fun family trick-or-treat alternative featuring games, crafts, activities, hay-ride, refreshments and an annual costume parade at 3:30 pm. Admission is free, however guests were asked to bring one canned food item per person to benefit the Pittsford Food Cupboard. It was held at St. John Fisher College last October 26 from 2:00-5:00 pm.
The Interact Club of Pittsford members treated goblins, ghosts and monsters with fun activities, prizes and candy. Whereas, Pittsford Rotarians accepted cash donations and "canned fees." They also supervised the wagon hay-rides, sorted and boxed the canned products.
Photos are of Rotarian Don Henderson (left) assisting guests at the wagon hayride, and guests lined up for games at the Interact station.
Pittsford Halloween Festival and Rotary 2014-10-26 00:00:00Z 0
Honor Flight is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. The organization transports our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials at no cost to the veterans. Currently, the focus is bringing veterans of World War II to the National World War II Memorial, and any veteran with a terminal illness. They are generally escorted by volunteer guardians, who help them on the flight and around D.C. They are often met by cheering crowds in D.C. or upon their return flight home.

This year, with a long waiting list of World War II Veterans, Honor Flight flew seven missions. Hundreds of residents welcomed home this year's final Honor Flight Rochester on Sunday, October 19 including Pittsford Rotary's Interact Club. The school bus that transported the students left Sutherland High School at 10:30. It's a 48-person passenger bus and was filled to capacity. The students were supervised by Interact Chair, Pat Mallery. Rotarian and Pittsford School Superintendent, Mike Pero, Rotarians Grace Soong and Nat Garfield, also joined the students to applaud, welcome and cheer our heroes.
Interact Members Welcome Honor Flight Heroes 2014-10-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 17, 2014
Our community is blessed with a historic, scenic environment that many enjoy — the New York State Canal System. What may be taken for granted are the efforts committed to keeping our area’s section of the Erie Canal Trail attractive and inviting. Pittsford Rotary takes great pride in helping maintain the Erie Canal System, as it is a unique recreational and tourism destination in the Pittsford area.
Adopting a highway means a commitment to taking care of a segment of highway for a two-year period.  Work includes picking up trash, raking, and even planting flowers.Matthew Wahl, Chairperson of the East St. Clean Sweep since 2002 said, "The Adopt-A-Highway Program is very rewarding. It gives our members great satisfaction to transform East Street into a clean roadside. Pittsford Rotary is proud to keep a part of our town and Monroe County a little cleaner.”  Dylan Brown has taken over as Chairperson starting next year when we have renewed our 2-year commitment with the Department Of Transportation.
On Saturday, October 18th, Pittsford's Interact Club Members endured the light sprinkle while working to clean up a section of the Canal Trail from Bushnell's Basin to Schoen Place in the Village of Pittsford. President Grace Soong stopped by to witness the Interactors weed a patch of land along the canal where Rotarians planted daffodils a few years ago. They were supervised and assisted by Interact Chair, Pat Mallery, and Rotarians Jim Murphy and Pete Crooker.
Interact Club of Pittsford's Erie Canal Path Clean Up Day 2014-10-18 00:00:00Z 0
Our usual venue, the Pittsford Public Library was unavailable due to a Town wide meeting on the 15th of October. Therefore, Program Chair, Matt O'Connor arranged for a tour and meeting at the Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance.  The room that they provided us was more than enough to accommodate everyone.  Other than the EMT volunteers, who split the group into two for the tour, we were joined by Patrine Gardner, Emma's mom.  She flew all the way from Australia to visit her daughter.  Unfortunately, Emma was unable to join us.
Today's get to know your fellow Rotarian was Jerry Elman.  Jerry grew up in Syracuse, NY. HIs parents, were both Holocaust survivors.  They instilled in him many of the values he possesses today. Jerry began his professional career at Kodak in 1980. While there, Jerry was unhappy with some of the inequalities faced by women and minorities. He used his influence to bring forth change to Kodak’s corporate environment. Jerry left Kodak in June 2006 after 26 years and is now the owner of Schoen Place Auto located in East Rochester. Jerry lives in Honoeye falls with his wife, Janet.
We had no keynote speaker, so our meeting turned out to be a Club Assembly.  Malcolm Bugler announced the Board decision to have a 4th fund raising event, which, if successful, will eventually replace the Golf Scramble. Pete Crooker reminded everyone to support the Election Night Pasta Supper. Steve Wilterdink reminded us that this is RI Foundation month; Harold McAuliffe needed volunteers to distribute dictionaries and to sell Pasta Supper tickets; Pat Mallery needed volunteers to join him in two Interact activities this weekend: Erie Canal Path Clean Sweep and Honor Flights; Grace Soong announced that the Rotary Leadership Seminar on Nov. 3 is "free" to first-time attendees, a brief summary of the last Board meeting decisions and a reminder to attend the Eastern Cities Dinner on October 27.
October 15 Meeting at the Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance 2014-10-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 03, 2014
Saint's Place in the Village, assists refugees from war-torn countries seeking asylum in the United States. They are legal immigrants arriving in Rochester, through the Refugee and Immigration Department of the Catholic Family Center. Approximately 700 refugees arrive in Rochester each year from all around the globe. These weary people arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, having escaped from war-torn countries. Some have lived in refugee camps for up to seven years waiting for a country to sponsor them. Donated furniture, household goods, appliances, and clothing are stored until needed, and then used to set up an apartment for each newly arrived family.
Matt O'Connor organized a bi-weekly support service at Saint's Place. He announced that an orientation meeting would be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 4th.  But when fellow Rotarians Dylan Brown, Ashok Patel, Kevin O'Grady, Bob Vukosic, Gaven Hurley and Pete Crooker showed up at St. John of Rochester, an  extension of Saint's Place, they were asked to empty an entire truck and van of furniture.  They also helped set up a few sample living rooms in preparation for a big sale in November.  That took about 2 1/2 hours. Yes, that was their orientation. (LOL) 
Rotarian Movers and Shakers 2014-10-04 00:00:00Z 0
This month is special with the induction for membership of Taylor Soong and Colleen Farley.
Taylor played football, wrestling, and track & field.  He is a Brother of Sigma Pi Fraternity International and has volunteered 400+ confirmed hours thru High school and college for the Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance, Pittsford fire department, and Rochester Community Bikes. Taylor believes that being a Rotarion allows him to continue doing what he did in high school and college including ways to serve the community as well as provide networking connections which can be beneficial for both the short term and long term goals. Taylor is currently taking classes at MCC.  At 18, Taylor may go on record as the youngest Pittsford Rotarian since the Club was chartered in 1941.
Colleen was a Rotarian briefly in Brockport and Dansville.  However, she was a member of the Bath Rotary Club for over 15 years, a Past President and a Paul Harris Fellow. Colleen also volunteers for activities with the Brighton Chamber of Commerce and the Rochester Women’s Network.  She just recently moved back to Rochester and she wishes to be a member or the Rotary Club of Pittsford because she wants to get involved with the community that she works in.

Colleen is the publisher of Brighton Connections and more recently, Pittsford Neighbors. They are family lifestyle magazines mailed monthly to over 5,000 Brighton and Pittsford residents. Each issue features a Brighton or Pittsford family as their cover story. It also includes news from the town, library, school, chamber, clubs and non-profit groups. Advertising discounts available for chamber members.
Welcome New Members Taylor and Colleen! 2014-09-29 00:00:00Z 0
Pittsford and Honeoye Falls-Mendon Rotary clubs collaborated on the annual Teddy Bear Picnic on September 24 at Kings Bend Park in Pittsford. This year, they donated over 50 Teddy bears, stuffed toys and baby blankets which will be used by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and area Emergency Medical Technicians to help soothe children caught in an emergency or traumatic situation.
Event Chair, Bruce Spector, along with Chef Jim Cameron grilled chicken breast and steaks for the Rotarian's extended families and guests Monroe County Captain Bob Clar, Pittsford Volunteer Fire Chief Rob Cline with his wife Kelly Cline, and Deputy Director of Operations for the Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance, Don Hammond. Everyone brought an appetizer, side dish or dessert to accompany the main course.
Singing sensations, Drew Moore and Lynn Freshman, started the evening's program by leading the "The Star Spangled Banner".  This year was different from prior picnics with the induction of new member, Colleen Farley, to the Pittsford Rotary Club.  Also unprecedented, ADG Susie Rose and HF/M President Tracy Main were asked to be part of the induction ceremony.
Winner of the 50/50 raffle, Matt O'Connor, is donating his $185 winnings to the RI Polio Fund.  Total collection of $193 along with Matt's donation will be matched by the Rotary Club of Pittsford and HF/M Foundations for a grand total of $756. Thank you, and great job everyone!
Photos courtesy of Colleen Farley:
Fun and Fullfilment at the Teddy Bear Picnic 2014-09-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Sep 16, 2014
Today's guests were former Pittsford Rotarian, Benjamin Lawrance, who is currently a member of the Brighton Rotary Club; Tom Waldgen, of the Fairport Rotary Club; guest speaker Karla Boyce and associate, John Dedes; and our very own exchange student Emma Gardner.

We started the meeting with greeter, Mike Pero, leading the invocation.  Pete Crooker announced the planning stages for our next and final fund raising event of the year, the Election Night Pasta Supper. Grace Soong announced the sale of the Penfield Camp Haccamo site, and Matt Wahl said that Emma needs a host family for the next 3 months of her stay.

We also got to know a  little more about Mike Carbone.  Mike currently works at Morgan Stanley as a financial adviser.  He graduated from University at Albany, SUNY.  In addition to the Rotary Club of Pittsford, Mike is an active member of Rochester young professionals and volunteers for CASH.  Mike lives in Pittsford with his wife Amalia and three children.
Nat Garfield informed us that American Portfolio approved the sponsorship of our new badges.  A million thanks, Nat! He also asked for volunteers to assist and chair with programs at Camp Haccamo. Several membeer signed up to volunteer, but we still need a Chairperson to represent our Club at the Camp Haccamo Board.  Please contact Nat (click here) if you would like to represent our Club on the Camp Haccamo Board.  Meetings are held monthly at Sage Rutty in Brighton.

Karla BoyceKarla Boyce represents Legislative District 5, encompassing the entire Towns of Mendon and Rush as well as parts of Pittsford and Henrietta.  She is a long-time Mendon resident and served on the Mendon Town Board in 2009-2011.

Karla has an extensive impact on the youth of our community. She is currently the Youth Development Coordinator for the Monroe County Department of Human Services Office of Temporary Assistance. She was previously the Program Coordinator for the Monroe County Children’s Center and is the former Executive Director of the Rochester Monroe County Youth Bureau. In her spare time, Karla is also a volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program and the Vice-President of the Anthony Jordan Youth Sports foundation.
September 17 Meeting Guests and Speaker 2014-09-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Sep 09, 2014

This week, we were joined by exchange student Emma Gardner and soon to be member, Colleen Farley.

We started our agenda by learning to sing the 2014-15 Rotary song in Taiwanese Hokkien. Needless to say, we were terrible.  Even though we were lead by Harold McAuliff.

ImageJim Cameron took the mike to tell us a little about himself. Jim cameron has been a Rotary member since 2001. What involved him with Rotary is because a favorite aunt "Gene" met a Rotarian and they would travel the world going to international conferences. Then a member asked if Jim had an interest and he jumped upon it. He finds it interesting since he is an independent business owner and Rotary has introduced him to a lot of business people in the town of Pittsford. Jim grew up in Scottsville in a funeral home on Rochester street that recently changed ownership after 105 years. He was exposed to  sole proprietorship through his family and thinks that exposure has helped him to develop his business and survive for 35 years. Jim has been married to Debra for 32 years. They have 2 sons: Alex, a lawyer in Brighton, and Maxwell, who lives in Brooklyn, and works in New York City. They both go down often and explore the surroundings and have been to the 9/11 Museum, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Little Italy, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, and planned on attending a Broadway musical soon. Debra and Jim usually drive and stay in Tarrytown directly across the Tappan Zee Bridge and take the Metro North into Grand Central.

Our keynote speakers were Grace Soong and Gaven Hurley.  They talked about some of the highlights of the 2014 RI convention in Sydney, Australia.  This was Grace's first RI convention.  Gaven has attended several conventions and talked about some of his experiences at previous events.

September 10 Meeting Guests and Speaker 2014-09-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Sep 02, 2014

Today, we were joined by Erin O'Grady, Colleen Farley and guest speaker Anita Conlon. Anita thanked our Club for our continuous support of the Pittsford Food Cupboard, along with Matt O'Connor, Pete Crooker, Joe Hammele and all the other Rotarians who have contributed to the Food Cupboard.

Steve Wilterdink purchased a pair of sneakers that were the wrong size and decided to donate it to our Veterans. He is asking everyone to bring gently used sneakers and shoes at our next meeting. Jim Murphy and he will take them to Veterans Outreach. Pam and Bruce are reminding everyone to attend the September fellowship at Bruce's Keuka lake home this Saturday, Sept 6. Malcolm is asking everyone to support Hike for Haccamo on Sept. 28.  Please contact Bruce Spector about your dish-to-pass and choice of chicken or beef for the Teddy Bear picnic on Sept. 24.

We  started the meeting with Malcolm telling us a little about himself.  He has 30+ years experience in electronic and software product design for security and communications systems, medical devices and portable instruments. He provides expert solutions for large and small operating environments. His goal it to delight customers and colleagues alike. Malcolm has been validated with BS degree equivalency as an EE by the US Immigration Service.

Malcolm is always ina high mood and outgoing, He aspires to help people realize the champion within them. Malcolm enjoys networking and learning about how to help others be the best they can be. He is originally from Warrington, England. Malcolm lives in Henrietta with his lovely wife, Liz.

We also sang "Happy Birthday" to our September celebrants: Parul Parel, Matt Wahl, Steve Wilterdink, Jackie Swift, Ashok Patel, Alan Wood, Billy Pieper, Jan Goldman and Taylor Soong lead by our very own celebrity: Lynn Freshman.


September 3 Meeting Guests and Speaker 2014-09-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 26, 2014

ImageOur meeting today started with a game of "Who am I?" with Craig Kunkle taking home a platter as the grand prize winner for the first one to guess that he is Jacques Cousteau.  Jerry Gambino came in second as Adolf Hitler.

Visiting Rotarian KL Nathani briefly took the floor to talk about his hometown of New Delhi and some of the projects which they have completed and currently working on.  After our meeting, he discussed possible joint New Delhi/Pittsford projects with Jim Murphy.  That evening, Jim forward an email from Rotary Club of New Delhi President, Rtn. Pankaj Rai:

Greetings from India!           
This evening, I was so excited to learn from our senior member PP Rtn. Nathani about his experience at your club meeting that
I wanted to write immediately.  I must again appreciate the trust and brotherhood of Rotary which brings completely strangers
so close that memories are created. It really doesn’t matter what part of the world we are in, Rotarians are very welcoming to each other.

But, I must still express our sincere thanks to President Rtn. Grace Soong, to you and to other members of Rotary Club of

Pittsford for such a wonderful reception extended to Rtn. Nathani. I don’t have the email of Rtn. Grace Soong so please
forward my mail to her.

It will be an honor to explore working with your club on a matching grant project. Do let us know your areas of interest.

ImageOur guest key-note speaker, Steve Wilterdink talked about long-term care.

Long-term Care insurance provides benefits in the event of a long-term illness or injury. Owning a long-term care insurance policy also provides you choices in deciding where or how you receive care.

Rotarian Steve resides in Pittsford with his wife, Pam. Steve is a financial advisor at Northwest Mutual.  In addition to Rotary, Steve is a member of the American Red Cross-Greater Rochester Chapter, Financial Development Committee. His hobby is Civil War history and is also in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

August 27 Meeting Guests and Speakers 2014-08-27 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 19, 2014

Our August 20th meeting's keynote speaker was our very own exchange student Emma Gardner from Australia. We were also joined by visiting ADG Susie Rose who presented us with the new RI logo, Matt Wahl's spouse, Sue Wahl, RI Peace scholar Bertin Mboko, prospective members Taylor Soong and Colleen Farley. Emma's friends, Allie,Kristie and Chris also joined us at our breakfast meeting. We started the meeting with a game of 2 truths and a lie. Lie detectors Steve Wilterdink and Helen Beach won gift certificates for catching most lies.


Exchange student Emma Gardner from Australia was our guest speaker for the day.  She talked about Australia, places she's been, friends she's made and some experiences she's had during the first 6 months of her stay in the U.S.

August 20 Meeting Guests and Speaker 2014-08-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 13, 2014

Rotary Club of Pittsford provides funding assistance to disabled children and adults who attend summer camp programs conducted by Camp Haccamo. This year, the 2-week program was held at Sunshine Camp in Rush-Henrietta. Pittsford Rotary also sponsored Carnival Night last Thursday, August 14 by providing snow cones, pop corn and cotton candy to the campers. Rotarian Bruce Spector made the not-so-difficult but sticky cotton candy, whereas, Rotarian Grace Soong and her daughter, Victoria, made and served snow cones. Fairport and Irondequoit Rotarians also attended the event to lend their support.


Pittsford Rotary Hosts Carnival Night at Camp Haccamo 2014-08-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 05, 2014

ImageHoneoye Falls-Mendon Rotary Club member, Drew Moore, exchange student Emma Gardner and guest speaker Tom Grasso joined us today.  Tom is the President of the Canal Society of NY which studies NY canal history, including its effect on the life and economy of the State; educate the public and encourage preservation of canal records, relics, structures and sites; and help restore abandoned canals and historic vessels, including replicating their structures.

A million thanks to Drew who jumped in to sell raffle tickets and take attendance until Bill Taylor took over his responsibilities as attendance taker and ticket seller.  We started the meeting with a game of Human Bingo.  Winners Pam Wright, Lynn Freshman and Bill Taylor took home the prize of Godiva chocolates.

August 6 Meeting Guests and Speaker 2014-08-06 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jun 10, 2014

Today is Interact Recognition Day at Pittsford Rotary Club.  Pat Mallery sent invitations to fifteen of the Interact Leadership Team members.
As we have done in the past, Interactors took over all of the elements of the meeting except the club announcements.  Some of them served as greeters and sold raffle tickets.  Others handled the pledge, invocation and 4 Way Test.  They had a Powerpoint of this year's service activities while Pat introduced each one of the Leadership Team members to the Club.  A couple of the seniors made brief speeches.  Pat awarded pins and certificates for each one of the Interactors and Pres. Jerry helped him present them at the appropriate time.

Interact Recognition Day 2014-06-11 00:00:00Z 0
5th Annual Bike Drop 2014-05-03 00:00:00Z 0
Historic Lock 62 Preservation Project 2014-04-27 00:00:00Z 0
How Jerry Elman kept Schoen Place Auto Open 2013-07-16 00:00:00Z 0
Malcolm Returns from Boston Marathon 2013-04-22 00:00:00Z 0
Senator O'Brien Nominates Mary Alice Price for "Women of Distinction" Honor" 2013-04-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Apr 03, 2013
Luke James Taylor, 9 pounds, 2 ounces, 21 inches.  Born at 7:15 pm on March 5, 2013. Big boy. Mom, Kim Taylor, and baby are doing just fine (so's dad).

Bill Taylor's Family is Growing 2013-04-04 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Apr 03, 2013

Mary Alice Price will be inducted into the New York State Senate's "Women of Distinction" on May 7 in Albany.  Congratulations and "well done !" to Mary Alice for a career of professionalism, caring, planning and results.

Here is the news from

A former Pittsford Schools superintendent will be inducted into New York State Senate's "Women of Distinction".

Senator Ted O'Brien nominated Mary Alice Price in recognition for her 40-year career as an educator and administrator.

Price will go to Albany on May 7 and will be formally inducted into the "Women of Distinction" during a ceremony in the Well of the Legislative Office Building.

Price retired from the Pittsford Schools in January. During her tenure, both Pittsford Mendon and Pittsford Sutherland were listed among the top 100 high schools in the nation. Price was also recognized as the 2009 New York State School Superintendent of the Year and has also been nominated for this year's national PTSA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Before going to Pittsford, Price was superintendent of the Churchville-Chili Schools, an assistant superintendent of West Irondequoit Central School District and an English teacher at Webster Central Schools.

Mary Alice Price Inducted into New York State Senate's "Women of Distinction" 2013-04-04 00:00:00Z 0
Online Volunteer Sign-up Sheet 0
Posted by Robert Vukosic

ImageWhile the world hopes for peace, Rotary works to make it a reality.  Rotary District 7120 Governor, Scott MacDonell announces that “Bertin Mboko of Fairport has been named as one of 100 Rotary Peace Fellows to study peace building and conflict resolution.”  The program was created as part of Rotary’s ongoing effort to promote greater tolerance and cooperation among people worldwide.

Mboko will attend University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, UK one of six worldwide Rotary Peace Centers.  He will obtain a master’s-level degree in peace and conflict resolution.

 In 1997, Bertin Mboko fled to the African nation of Gabon with 75,000 other refugees to escape the brutal conditions resulting from Congo's civil war and his status as an activist and dissident against the French regime. Throughout his eight years in a camp in Gabon, Mboko, one of the few university-educated refugees, spent most of his time putting his economics expertise to the test, teaching other refugees to support themselves by selling goods and managing their meager finances. As president of the refugee community, he felt responsible for their well being and coordinated with the United Nations and U.S. Embassy in Gabon to receive international aid for his fellow refugees-which included his sister and his five children, two of whom belonged to his sister-in-law who was killed in Congo. Bertin and his family resettled in the United States in 2007 where he has continued to work toward improving conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“This Peace Fellowship will help me to bring my part of contribution to Rotary because this foundation promotes peace in the world and it has a goal of promoting greater tolerance and cooperation among peoples, leading to world understanding and peace.” said Mboko. Rotary Club of Pittsford President, Grace Soong, noted that “Because of his extensive field experience in Africa, Bertin will contribute significantly to the peace and conflict resolution program at the University of Bradford.”  

Nearly 900 Rotary Peace Fellow alumni are now working in high-level positions at prestigious organizations such as the United Nations, the European Parliament, Interpol, USAid, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,and the Organization of Americasn States.  While war, famine, poverty and disease remain serious challenges worldwide, the Rotary Peace Centers program gives Peace Fellows the knowledge and tools to address them.

Twelve years ago, Rotary decided to take a direct approach to world understanding by providing future leaders with the tools they need to “wage peace” on the global stage. Since 2002, Rotary clubs, each year sponsor up to 50 fellows who embark on one to two years of study to earn master’s-level degrees in peace and conflict resolution at Rotary Peace Centers at leading universities in England, Japan, Australia, Sweden, and the United States.

Fairport Resident Named Rotary Peace Fellow Robert Vukosic 0

Click the video above to see some of the players, Rotarians and activities at our most recent fund raising event at Victor Hills Golf Club.  As you know, we support various non-profit organizations and service projects from the funds that we raise from the Taste of Pittsford last March, this Golf Scramble and on November 11, the Election Night Pasta Supper.

Preliminary reports from Chairman Peter Brown indicates an increase of about $500 net profit compared to last year's event due to increased participants, the putting contest and decreased expenses.  Woohoo!!!

Golf Scramble Highlights 0


We were joined by former Pittsford exchange student Pauline Czmic, former Pittsford Rotarian, at our July 23rd meeting.


We were joined by future members Taylor Soong, Sufiya Kwaja (who also joined us at the July 23rd meeting), Colleen Farley, and former Rotarian Don, Gaven's guest at our July 30 meeting.

July 23 and 30 Meeting guests 0

ImageBorn in the rural village of Mayen-Abun in Twic County, South Sudan, cousins Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi were less than ten years old when the war came to their village and separated them from their families. They escaped to Ethiopia only to experience war again within 4 years. In 1991, they escaped from Ethiopia and spent a year walking across the hot desert to a refugee camp in Kenya. In this camp, both were educated through the 8th grade. In 2001, Sebastian and Mathon were selected as two of the 3,800 who would resettle in the United States.

Building Minds in Sudan, Inc. ("BMISS") is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to African villagers in South Sudan. The organization seeks to restore hope by providing education for people adversely affected by conflict in Sudan. Their aim is to build primary schools, first in the village of Mayen-Abun in South Sudan and provide gender equity through promoting education for girls.

Pads for Girls is a project that was initiated to enable girls to attend school every day, especially during their menstrual cycle. The pads are cotton, washable and reusable. In this male-dominated culture, the girls are teased frequently by the boys especially during their monthly cycle.  Therefore, BMISS's next project is to build a school for girls.

Our speaker at the July 30 meeting: Sebastian Maroundit 0

ImageImageSaint's Place is a volunteer organization, based on Christian values, that provides household goods, clothing, and education to legal refugees of all races and creeds who settle in the Rochester, NY area to escape violence, discrimination and poverty.
Isabel discussed possible projects that The Rotary Club might embrace:
1.        Meet with all members to determine who are manufacturers or who are linked through business/friendship to manufacturers.   Their list of materials is extensive but perhaps there are a few members who can contact a manufacturer for the. They need sheets (twin/double), blankets, lamps, tables, chairs, boots, sweaters, men’s underwear, socks, toys, backpacks, school supplies.
2.       Conduct a “new” coat drive throughout the Fall for refugee men/women/children.
3.       Work one Saturday a month at Saint’s Place driving their van and picking up donations and making deliveries to the homes of refugees.
4.      Tutor the refugees at their two locations, St. Boniface and the Greek Orthodox Church.  The term is from September-May, one night a week from 4:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.   There is orientation.
5.       Sponsor a drive to collect Laundry detergent, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, deodorant, etc. These items are essential to the refugee families and often their limited budget does not include said products.
Malcolm Bugler presented a check for $300 to Isabel on behalf Jim and Joan Keebler who asked that their Community Service award be donated to Saint's Place.

Our speaker at the July 23 meeting: Isabel Miller 0

ImageWhit earned his BA from Union College (Schenectady, NY) in 1994.  He holds FINRA securities licenses 63, 65, 24, 7 and NY, CT, and PA State Insurance Licenses. He has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years.
Maintaining a strong sense of community and a solid professional foundation are very important to Whit.  Whit’s community activities and professional affiliations include: Five-Time National Leadership Corp. Member and Two Time Centurian, Member of Sterling Group of AXA Advisors from 2008-2010; Member of St. Louis Roman Catholic Church; and  Member of The Knights of Columbus, Council #15833.

Whit lives in Pittsford, with his wife and five children.  He enjoys the outdoors, playing ice hockey, and reading.

Get to Know your New Member: Whit Merrill 0

Bruce Spector, Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation, issued check #1818 payable to Building Minds in South Sudan ("BMISS"). Gaven Hurley, who spearheaded this fund raising campaign, will give a final count to Kevin O'Grady, Foundation Chair, of the $450 which he has collected and given to Sebastian Maroundit yesterday at our Club meeting.  Sebastian is the founder of BMISS.

Gaven mentioned that the late Ray Robbins would love this project. He remembers, on at least two occasions, when Ray spearheaded programs on outhouses.

Anyone interested in sending any checks for latrines, please send them to Gaven Hurley at 15 Landsdowne Lane, Rochester, NY 14618
ASAP, so we can wrap things up.  Checks should be made payable to "Building Minds In South Sudan" which is a 501c(3) corp.  All will receive a thank you/receipt from BMISS.

Latrines for Building Minds in South Sudan 0

The best way to get to know Dylan is from the PowerPoint presentation that he prepared for us:

Where he grew up:Image

His dreams:Image

What he enjoys doing: Image

ImageDylan and his wife moved back to Rochester after spending seven years in Massachusetts to be near family and friends. Dylan grew up on Irondequoit.  He is a graduate of Boston University and Ithaca College.  He works as staffing manager at Pegasystems, which provides software to manage, automate and optimize a broad array of business processes. Their software unifies Business Process Management (BPM) software with a sophisticated Business Rules Engine (BRE) to broadly improve business effectiveness. 

Get to Know your New Member: Dylan Brown 0

We were graced today by visiting Rotarians PDG Norma Madayag-Reilly, Gary Reilly and Ray Griswold.  President Grace's son, Taylor Soong, is looking forward to joining the Pittsford Rotary Club.  Taylor has attended a few meetings with his mom while he was in high school and while he was home from College.  Taylor has decided to go to college in Rochester and would have more time to attend Rotary Club meetings and volunteer his time.


Today's meeting guests 0

Gaven Hurley is proposing to fund the construction of 3 latrines at a school in Sudan. Gaven will donate $250 to be matched by club members and that sum of $500 will be matched by our Club's Foundation. The math will be easier if 5 Rotarians give $50 each. The total cost of the project is $5,000 in which he hopes and expects a number of Rotary Clubs to participate in. What do you say? As Gaven says, "Believe me, you will be making a difference every day for these children and teachers."

Here is a short video based on the story of polio survivor, Angelina Malek, who kneels to Ajong primary school built by Building Minds In South Sudan Inc.,  (BMISS).  BMISS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to African villagers in South Sudan. The organization seeks to restore hope by providing education for people adversely affected by conflict in Sudan. Gaven's latrine project will be built for a couple of theses schools.

Rotary Latrine for Building Minds in South Sudan (BMISS) 0

ImageMatt Flanigan joined the FCHH staff last December, with over two decades of non-profit leadership experience. He spent the last eight years with the American Cancer Society; the last four as Regional Vice President of the Eastern Division in Rochester. Prior he spent 8 years as the Executive Director of Camp Stella Maris in Livonia, NY. He was also chair of the oversight committee that site selected, designed, and raised over $2 million to build St. Matthew Church of Livonia in 2005.

Flower City Habitat for Humanity is a non-denominational Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard and poverty housing in Rochester, NY. Since 1984, Flower City Habitat for Humanity has built or renovated over 200 homes, and is one of the largest Habitat affiliates in the northeastern US.


Today's Speaker: Matt Flanigan 0

ImageAlex is highly motivated and volunteers with any free time he can find. He is devoted to public service and holds himself/others to high levels of integrity. Working for the federal government is one of his top goals in life. Most importantly, he wants to be able to give back to others.

Alex is currently the External Relations Associate for the NYS Senate Democratic Conference in New York. He was also the Field Organizer for Obama for America when he Successfully ran a campaign office, coordinated events with White House Advance for the First Lady, Secretary of the Interior and United States Senators Udall and Bennet.

Alex is a graduate of the University at Albany with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science and Government & English.

Alex Pena: Get to Know Your New Members 0

The Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation approved up to $1500 for procurement, construction and finishing of a storage shed for the Pittsford Village Farmers Market. The Foundation board approved the money in the new 2014-15 Rotary year budget effective July 1 and will donate the money directly to the Pittsford Eagle Scouts troop to support the effort.  This is a collaborative effort among the Friends of Pittsford Village, Troop 129 Eagle Scouts and the Rotary Club of Pittsford. We took a break from our regular meeting at the library today to walk to the storage shed and have PDG Norma Madayag-Reilly take some great photos.  Looking good, guys (and gals).


Pittsford Village Farmers Market Storage Shed 0

Welcome Ashok!  The last meeting of the year was highlighted by Ashok Gupta's induction to the Rotary Club of Pittsford.  Ashok was accompanied by his wife, Uma.  Ashok's sponsor and mentor, Peter Brown, introduced him to the Club.

Ashok Gupta Induction Ceremony 0

The Pittsford Rotary Club hosted the 18th annual Kids Trout Fishing Derby from 9 to 11 a.m. last May 17 at Powder Mills Park.  Due to flooding from recent torrential rains, the only access into Powder Mills Park was from Route 96. Kevin O'Grady, who organized the event had to pass this sad news the day before the event to everyone who was planning to attend. He organized additional volunteers stationed at Park Road school redirecting anyone trying to enter the park from that end.  Fortunately, we were able to move the event from the Powderhorn Lodge to the fish hatchery which was unaffected by flooding.  Otherwise, we would have had to cancel the event.

The Town of Pittsford Parks Department staff unloaded a couple of large fish in the hatchery pond for the little fishermen to catch.  It was strictly a catch and throw fishing day.  Unlike previous years, the young fishermen were allowed to take home their catch provided they were 9” or larger.  It turned out to be a beautiful (slightly chilly) day to fish.  But everyone had to go home empty handed.

Registration for children ages 15 and younger began at 8 a.m., and a trophy presentation took place following the derby at 11:15 a.m. Refreshments were also  available courtesy of Tim Hortons.  Raffle tickets were sold to benefit the Reidman Foundation. There was no cost to attend and the derby was open to the public.

18th Annual Kid's Trout Fishing Derby 0

The Board of Directors at today's meeting have approved Ashok Gupta and Whit Merrill's application for membership to the Rotary Club of Pittsford.

 Ashok GuptaAshok Gupta is Vice President of PlanetGPA Institute, Inc. His job enables him to assist students with STEM programs and careers.  He also offers free college counseling and job readiness for Rochester City School students and the young unemployed.  He wants to be a Rotarian to serve our community and utilize his talents for the betterment of Rochester citizens, to meet caring individuals and to give back to the community which has given him so much over the last 30+ years.  Ashok's sponsor is former Pittsford Rotarian, David Boyer.

 Whit MerrillWhit Merrill is a certified financial planner at Angelo Financial Group.  He is a member of the St. Louis Catholic Church and a Knights of Columbus Chapter 2nd degree Knight. Whit wants to be a Rotarian to meet people, give back to the community and do business with sound, honest local people.  Whit's sponsor is Irondequiot Rotarian, Jack Best.

Gaven Hurley and I met with Ashok and Whit and we both believe that they will be tremendous assets to our organization and we recommend them as a members of our Club.

Email Grace Soong, by Wednesday, April 14, 2014, ONLY IF YOU OBJECT to Ashok or Whit's application for membership.

Ashok Gupta and Whit Merrill's Application for Membership to the Rotary Club of Pittsford 0
Today, Jerry Elman had the honor of representing our club at the dedication ceremony of the house we helped build as part of the Habitat Interfaith Partnership.  Both funds and labor from our Club helped make the construction of this house possible.  Below are a copy of the program and pictures from the event.  Ebonique Latimer and her young daughter will be moving into the house very soon.

Thanks to Pete Crooker for his leadership in organizing our club's participation.  Thanks to all the volunteers that allowed our Club to exceed the hours we committed to on this project. We will be building another house in 3 years.
Dedication Ceremony of the House we Helped Build with Habitat Interfaith Partnership 0
Jerry Elman had the honor of being the "official photographer" for the 2013 Fishing Derby last May, 18, 2013 (plus he got to measure fish!). It was a very fun event. For those who could not be there, he's captured pictures of the event from start to finish. Thanks to Kevin O'Grady and all the volunteers who you will see in action in many of the pictures.

Click here to view these pictures larger

2013 Fishing Derby Photos 0
ImagePaul Harris Fellow Awards were presented at the Sept. 25 meeting to Juana McAullif and Jill Crooker for their hours of service to the Club most especially during the District Conference held at Lake Place last May.


Paul Harris Fellows are awarded to Donors who give $1,000 or more to the Annual Rotary International Fund, PolioPlus, or an approved Rotary International Foundation grant. The Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation has given $1000 each to the Rotary International Fund in Juana and Jill's name.

Paul Harris Awardees 0

ImageDiane Marcus has been a teacher of French, Spanish and elementary education.  She worked for the airline industry for 10 years.  Diane attended college at SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor of Arts in French, Spanish and Elementary Education.  She also graduated from SUNY Brockport with an MBA in Liberal Arts and Education Administration.  Diane founded the Emily Post Institute in Vermont.

It is her desire to train employees, managers and entrepreneurs to practice proper business etiquette. Why take the chance of losing a sale just because someone failed to follow standard protocol in the business world? Business etiquette includes much more than how to give a proper handshake or knowing which fork to pick up next at the dinner table. Business etiquette includes knowing how to act in an interview, how to introduce clients to your peers at work, understanding the pecking order in the company and knowing how to defer to your manager or boss at work or in social events. It is also being sensitive to the culture of the clients you are pursuing, when to write a thank you note, and being a savvy business traveler. Learn more at:

Today's Program: Essential Business Etiquette by Diane Marcus 0
Image Bob Vukosic is a guest lecturer at the Osur Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  He has researched and presented on many areas.  On September 18, Bob presented information on the Human Microbiome.  There are about 10,000 species of microbes on a typical human.  The microbes weigh between 2 pounds and 6 pounds on a 200-pound person.  Some microbes are commensural (not providing benefits or threats), some are symbiotic and provide benefits, and some microbes are pathogens which create issues for humans.  Each person begins to acquire microbes from birth onward, and these microbes make a big difference in human health and adaptability to environmental changes.  We thank Bob for presenting a fascinating presentation describing how the Human Microbiome.
Bob Vukosic presents Information on the Human Microbiome 0
ImageThank you to everyone who has donated to the Rotary Foundation for the Polio Plus Fund. Gaven will continue to accept donations for The Rotary Foundation through September.  The total contribution will be matched by our own Pittsford Rotary Club Foundation.

So far, members have donated a total of $505.  Please make your check payable to ""The Rotary Foundation" and mail it to Gaven Hurley, 15 Lansdowne Ln. Rochester NY 14618, or click on the PayPal button above and designate your donation to "Polio Plus c/o Gaven Hurley" under "special instructions to seller."
Polio Plus 0

Ken Hann and Michelle Tascione worked their shifts last May 28.  Jan Goldman, Jerry Elman, Luke Stewart and Pete Crooker worked their shifts a week and a half earlier.  The house that they are building is at 629 Brown Street.

Groundbreaking was on March 27. Foundation work began on April 9 and by April 18, footers and drain tile had been completed by volunteers from the eight H.I.P. partners: Christ Episcopal Church (CE), First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford (FP), Islamic Center of Rochester (IC), Mount Olivet Baptist Church (MO), Pittsford Rotary (PR), Saint Louis Catholic Church (SL), Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church (SP) and Temple Sinai of Penfield (TS).

In addition to our members volunteering their time to build this home, Pittsford Rotary Club Foundation pledges $3,000 every 3 years towards building materials.  The next project will be in 2016 (whew....) that'll give us plenty of time to recover before the next groundbreaking....


Images (l-r):
Pete's assignment was to assist in putting up this facade.
Pete (r) and another volunteer hammer away at their project.
Tool shed built off-site by the Eagle Scouts.
Sign erected on April 18.

Habitat Helpers and Homebuilders 0
On behalf of the father in Ghana who will have access to fresh water for his family, and the children who will learn to read and write in their newly furnished school, thank you for your gift to The Pittsford Rotary Foundation’s Paul Harris Fellow Fund. Your contributions fund projects that assist these individuals, these families, these communities.

Thank you for your contribution. The Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation is a 501-c3 public charity and all gifts are deductible to the extent of the law as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.
Thank your for your donation. 0


Taylor Blackwell is a 2012 graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High School.  She was vice president and co-president of the Interact Club, and received the Student Service Award last year from Pittsford Rotary Club.  As a Rotary Youth Exchange Student, Taylor visited France from August 28, 2012 through June 28, 2013.  She stayed in the town of Rambouillet, a town of 30,000 people that is located southwest of Paris.  School classes were from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a 3-hour mid-day break.  At Sutherland, Taylor enjoyed varsity basketball, so she signed up for basketball at Lycee Louis Bascan and found a more relaxed group of student participants.  Taylor went to the Rotary meeting in Rambouillet every 2 weeks where they served steak and wine.  Part of her visit included a multi-city European trip with many other Youth Exchange students.  Taylor learned a lot about people, and about herself.

Thank you for the fine presentation, Taylor, and we wish you success at R.I.T where you will major in environmental science.

Taylor Blackwell, Rotary Youth Exchange Student 0

ImageSteve resides in Pittsford with his wife and high school sweetheart, Pam.  Steve graduated from Penfield High School, then went off to Hobart College.  He had a short term at the United States Marine Corps Reserve.  Steve is active with the American Red Cross Greater Rochester Chapter in the financial development committee and in the National Ski Patrol at Hunt Hollow.  His hobby is Civil War history.

Steve Wilterdink is a Financial Planner at Northwest Mutual where his mission is "Success creates questions. Where do I go from here? What are my distribution options? How do I make an impact on the world? We can find the answers together."

Bio-in-5: Steve Wilterdink 0
Mary Alice Price nominated for "Women of Distinction" program 0

The Pittsford Rotary hosted the 17th annual Fishing Derby last Saturday, May 18 at Powder Mills Park in the Powderhorn Lodge. The weather held up and there was a great turnout with 208 registrants.  Rotarians volunteered 3-4 hours of their time to register guests, set-up, clean-up, fish patrol, parking lot patrol and sell raffle tickets.  Thank you to all who participated!

Pittsford Rotary Fishing Derby Recap 0

ImagePittsford Rotarian Peter J. Brown of Express Employment Professionals gave Pittsford Rotary an update of what grant money is available.  And that the grant application process has been most recently streamlined.

District grants fund smaller, short-term activities that address needs in both your local community and communities worldwide. Each district gets to choose which activities it will fund with these grants.  District grants can be used for:
    1)  Humanitarian projects, including service travel and disaster recovery efforts;
    2)  Scholarships for any level, length of time, location, or area of study; and
    3)  Vocational training of any team size or timespan.

Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in one or more of the six areas of focus. Global grants must:
    1) Be an international partnership between a Rotary club or district in the country where the activity takes place and a Rotary club or district outside of that country
    2) Be sustainable and include plans for long-term success after the global grant funds have been spent
    3) Include measurable goals that are demonstrated through progress reports
    4) Align with one of our six areas of focus
    5) Respond to real community needs
    6) Include active participation from both Rotarians and community members
    7) Have a minimum budget of US$30,000
    8) Meet the eligibility requirements in the grants terms and conditions

Peter Brown Reports on the new District Grant 0

ImageMike Carbone was inducted on May 29th.  Mike first joined the Rotary Club of Pittsford in December, 2011 but had to resign for personal reasons.

Mike graduated from the State University at Albany, NY. He currently works at Morgan Stanley as a Wealth Advisor Associate.  Mike lives in Pittsford with his wife, Amalia.  He is also a member of the Rochester Young Professionals and a volunteer for CASH.  Welcome back, Mike!

Induction of Mike Carbone 0
Posted by Charlie Rosenberg

Charlie Rosenberg is back from Nicaragua where he participated in the 4 Walls Project to build houses for poor families.  He had a fantastic time and wishes to thank everyone who helped by donating money to support the project.  

If you haven't donated, it isn't too late! You can still go to and look for "4 Walls" under the "Current Projects" tab on the left.

Charlie will be talking to the club about the trip in March.


Pictured are (from left) Charlie, Ronald (interpreter and guide), Denise (participant), Sergio (mason), Francisco (eldest brother of family), Jennifer (participant), Rosa (mother), and Augustino (younger brother).

Charlie Back from Nicaragua Charlie Rosenberg 0

ImagePam Wright and David Wright together have two children, Dustin, 25, who graduated from RIT and works in Syracuse as a graphic designer, and Ashley, 17, a freshman at MCC.

Pam was raised in Skaneateles, NY, where she graduated from Skaneateles High School.  Pam received a Bachelor of Science degree in science and education from SUNY Cortland and a Master's Degree from Adelphi University in clinical social work. Pam met husband, David, in Interlaken, Switzerland in 1984.  They have been married for 27 years this June.  Pam and David first lived in NYC, then in 1990, moved to Peekskill, NY. They moved to Pittsford, in September, 2001.

Pam has worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs for 23 years part-time when her kids were young and full time when they both were in school. Pam also worked as a clinical social worker for years before moving into management at the VA's central office in Washington, DC as a virtual employee. Pam is currently a national program manager overseeing programs that are rolled out to the 152 VA hospitals across the nation.

Pam loves the outdoors and enjoys skiing, hiking, running, biking, traveling, reading, getting together with friends and enjoying the company of her three cats: Billy, Leo and Nala.

Bio-in-5: Pam Wright 0

ImageThe following Rotarians provided a dish for the Ronald McDonald House Charities last Thursday, January 17:  Jan Goldman, Bill Pieper, Kara Martin, Pam Wright, Roger and Nancy Zaenglein, Grace Soong, Bill Taylor, Hank Ferris, Jerry Elman, Jerry Gambino, and Donna Spector.  Jerry Gambino and Donna delivered the food to the House. 

The Ronald McDonald House, located atop the state-of-the-art Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong, is a 4,000 square foot House which provides proximate respite and support for families just 60 seconds away from their critically ill or injured child staying at Strong Memorial Hospital. This unique, on-site haven allows the RMH Charities to serve more families than ever before. Many thanks to the Rotarians who donated food and time to help the families who have critically-ill children.


Ronald McDonald House 0

ImageFlower City Habitat for Humanity is a non-denominational Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard and poverty housing in Rochester, NY. Since 1984, Flower City Habitat for Humanity has built or renovated over 190 homes, and is one of the largest Habitat affiliates in the northeastern US.

Homes are built by several thousand volunteers joining the organization annually, who are trained and supervised by their professional construction supervisors. Financial support, materials donations, and construction services are provided by individuals, corporations and faith groups.

Pete Crooker is looking for volunteers to build a Habitat home.  Volunteer hours are between 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. M-S for 77 days starting in April (photo by Dave Boyer).


Flower City Habitat 0
Rotary Team:
Presiding: Jerry Elman
Ticket Seller: Doug Trolley
Sergeant-at-Arms: Jim Cameron
Set-up: Jim Cameron, Pete Crooker and Wayne Terrell
Attendance: 33 members
Guests: Juana McAullife, Jill Crooker, Alex Pena
Visiting Rotarian: Gary Miller (Avon-Canton)
Speaker: Diane Marcus
September 25 Meeting: Presiding and Attending 0
Thank you very much to everyone who has helped make this year's "Taste of Pittsford" a huge success! We still need to “wrap-up” the 2013 Taste of Pittsford and take care of a few things such as ticket money outstanding.  Please either bring to the next meeting or send to: Jim Murphy c/o Amica, PO Box 1638, Fairport, NY 14450.

If you have not yet given the donor’s name/address/item name to Peter or Tysha Martin, please e-mail to Kevin O'Grady a.s.a.p. so that Kevin can ask the Rotary Club of Pittsford Foundation Board to send out "Thank You" notes. The Board cannot send a letter without the donor’s name, or company name, the address and the description (and relative value, if you know it)…….think of what you would need to send a letter to that person to thank them and that is the info that the Board needs.  Jim Murphy is also handling the plaques for the restaurants and wineries.  These are being made now and will go out shortly.

Taste of Pittsford 0
2013-2014 Officers
President: Jerry Elman
President Elect: Grace Soong
Vice President: Peter Brown
Secretary: Kara Martin
Treasurer: Jack Pickering
Past President: Bruce Spector

2013-2014 Board of Directors

Club Service: Peter Crooker

Pittsford Community Service: Sharon Garofanello

Out of Pittsford Community Service: Nat Garfield

Vocational Service: Malcolm Bugler

International Service: Charlie Rosenberg

Director of Public Image: Michelle Tascione

Foundation (TRF) Chair: Gaven Hurley

New Generations: Craig Kunkle

The Rotary Club of Pittsford, New York 1-800-867-0513  x-21737

2013-2014 CLUB OFFICERS 0
Rotary Links 0
Scheduled Greeters & Ticket Sellers 0