Posted by Yvette Hohler
President Michael B. opened our first meeting of 2023 by welcoming 17 members and 5 guests, including prospective club member, Brian Hoerger, our PJ Middle School Most Motivated Student of the month, 8th grader Daria (aka "Dasha") Zakharova, her mom Polina Burmistrova, science teacher Adam Bouchard, and PJMS Principal Brian Walker.
Following Al's Invocation, our President called for a moment of silence in memory of Judi Betts, after which Mike S. spoke of Judi's influence and dedication to community service, and Al spoke of Judi's impressive Rotary club legacy (ie., her amazing annual Raffle Ticket sales).
President Michael next thanked Pat & Al for obtaining and installing a memorial bench in the Chandler Estate Park that had been requested by the Nowak and Halpin families in memory of their sister Holly.  
Kim introduced our PJ Middle School guests and invited teacher Adam Bouchard to introduce this month's Most Motivated Student.  In doing so, Bouchard quoted remarks made by a number of Dasha's teachers, who were universally delighted with her selection for this honor.  Her English teacher referred to this student as "one of the most focused, determined, tenacious, and thorough students" in her highest functioning class.  Moreover, she pointed out that Dasha's achievements are "even more impressive considering that English is not her mother tongue!"  Dasha's algebra teacher touted her attention to detail and her "meticulously outlined work" that sets her apart from her peers.  He added that she has a genuine interest in the subject matter, which is reflected in her thoughtful questions, which show that she finds joy in math.  Another of Dasha's teachers finds her to be an incredibly thoughtful and conscientious student, an avid reader who writes beautifully.  Dasha's attention to detail and critical reading and thinking skills set her apart from her peers.  Bouchard summed up the reasons for this student's selection.  He had known and worked with her since she was a 6th grader participating in the Science Olympiad.  She maintains a "near perfect overall average and puts her best effort into everything she does". Dasha is one of the first students to volunteer to help or give an answer during class, showing her confidence in her abilities.  She thoroughly completes all her work and provides excellent, well-thought-out answers.  A kind person, Dasha also looks out for the well-being of others and goes the extra mile to help out those in need.  A very social person, Dasha is not afraid to advocate for herself and will ask for help when needed.  A well-rounded student, Dasha plays the flute in band, competes with the mathletes and science olympiad teams, and is a member of the school's swimming and track teams.  Dasha is certainly deserving of our award!
President Michael next reminded us that January is Vocational Service Month in Rotary.  He explained what that means and suggested that perhaps we take turns at future meetings talking about our work.
Yvette reminded our members about the Hope Children's Fund's 5th Annual Passion for Education Gala, which will take place on March 11th in the Northampton Ballroom at The Inn & Spa at East Wind in Wading River from 6-11 PM.  The per person cost of attendance will be $199 and will include an evening of live music by X-Session, a cocktail hour, a plated dinner, raffles, and a silent auction.  The annual event, in which which our club has participated since its inception, supports the education of the 90 youngsters residing in the Jerusha Mwiraria Hope Children's Home in Meru, Kenya.  RSVP's can be made to or to Hope Children's Fund, P.O. Box 1345, East Northport, NY 11731.
Yvette also reminded us that the Brookhaven Division of Women's Services is once again seeking nominations for outstanding women who live or work in the Town.  In March, in celebration of Women's History Month, the Town will hold its 37th Annual Women's Recognition Evening, and will present awards to women representing 15 categories of outstanding contributions in their fields (ie.,  The Arts, Business, Community Service, Education, Government, Medicine, etc,).  Community groups, businesses, and individuals are now invited to nominate women they believe are deserving off special recognition for their efforts.  Information and nominating forms can be found on the Town of Brookhaven website.  The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 27th.
Pat announced that Rocky Point Rotary is going to establish a Peace Pole at the Congregational Church in Mt. Sinai.  He suggested that perhaps our club might be interested in establishing a Peace Pole in Port Jeff in the future.
Bob H. needs a person to host our February 28th social evening meeting.  Will you volunteer?
Jenn noted that the Rotary apparel ordering deadline will be extended for a few more days.  She is still taking orders.
Dennis thanked our members for today's generous Open Cupboard donations.  He also invited our members to look into attending the upcoming Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck Dinner sponsored by Moriches Rotary.
Nancy announced that re-imbursements for Open Cupboard Christmas gift purchases are still available.  Contact her for information a.s.a.p.
Jenn noted that NY's Senator Chuck Schumer has procured $450,000 to pay for the demolition of buildings at Lawrence Aviation, a local superfund site.
President Michael will meet soon with Rocky Point Rotary's President, Kevin Mann, to prepare for our joint club meeting that will take place at Cafe Spiga on January 24th.  He will welcome your suggestions for possible joint projects to be undertaken in the coming year, such as a Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck Clean Up event.
Erika invites volunteers to join her this Friday the 13th in the Village for visits to retail shops, restaurants, bars, etc., seeking to collect gift cards/certificates, prize donations, coupons, etc., for use as Raffle prizes at the Golf Outing.  Contact Erika if you wish to help her in this mission.
Sal reminded us that there is a Rotary Youth Exchange Program for students from here to travel abroad for short or long term exchanges. He asked for a volunteer who can be the contact person between Rose Quaranta, our District Youth Exchange Representative, and the local student, Matteo, who has expressed an interest in becoming a participant.  Debbie volunteered to do this.  Yay, Deb!
President Michael reminded us to re-read the email announcement he sent out regarding the Sardinia Rotary Club Tour that is being offered from 6/3-6/10/23.
Mike S. gave an impassioned plea for help/volunteers for our March 4th Golf Outing.  We need sponsorships, foursomes, donations of time and money, etc.  Please seek to sign up event participants before February, as the price of participation will increase next month.
Next week, we will be inducting Brian Hoerger as our newest club member.  Please plan to attend and celebrate this event.
Bob H. was our Sergeant today.  Many of his questions that yielded dollars had to do with Rod Stewart.  More $$$ were collected for all sorts of great reasons, including: in honor of our Most Motivated Student; In Memory Of Judi; celebration of no snow yet; travels to warm places for Al & Pat; Sharon's upcoming travels south for several weeks; the recent winning ways of the Buffalo Bills; Erika's sons' visit home; and Dennis' new granddaughter. 
One of Yvette's weekly raffle tickets won her the opportunity to try to find the Ace of Spades and win the pot of $205.  Alas, she picked the 10 of Spades.  And so, the pot continues to grow.  Will you win it next week?  Come to next week's meeting and find out!  :)
NEXT WEEK, January 17th, will be a CLUB ASSEMBLY.
                          HERE'S TO A HAPPY, HEALTHY WEEK!
Remember: If a member would like to send out an email to the membership, use the following email address:
Bob Huttemeyer is still seeking volunteers willing to host an evening meeting (5:30 PM-7 PM) at a member's home or place of business.  Contact Bob if you'd like to host an upcoming Rotary evening social gathering.
Rebecca invites us to get acquainted with HOMETOWNHOPEPORTJEFFERSON.ORG. Hometown Hope provides resources and support in times of need to all residents of the Village by promoting a movement of spreading kindness. It "strives to uplift through wellness, resilience, and compassionate understanding in our community."  Among the services/goods it will provide: meal boxes; home deliveries; and the like for those suffering illness, loss, etc., as well as help for healthcare practitioners during the pandemic. You can also sponsor a family. 
Want to volunteer? Contact .
***If you have ideas or items to be discussed at our next meeting, let Michael B. know.  And if you'd like to join one of the club's special committees, let him know this, as well. The more, the merrier!***
            *** Watch for Michael B's invitation to our next meeting and plan to join us!***                                                   
                                                                        STAY SAFE AND WELL!